Lunch links: Mileage Vs. Gas Tax Experiment Begins in Colorado; Recounts Coming in Maine on Marijuana and Income Tax; Rhode Island Considers Catching Up with Neighbor States on Marijuana Legalization

November 17, 2016

Today is November 17, the date in 1800 when the U.S. Congress first met in Washington, D.C.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

California Democrats Regain Assembly Supermajority: If Assembly Democrats stick together, they’ll no longer need the support of Republican members for any votes requiring two-thirds support, such as raising taxes, moving constitutional amendments to the ballot, or amending political spending laws. A pending special election in the 29th Senate District could give them a supermajority in that chamber too. (Sacramento Bee)

Seattle Tolls Triple Expectations: Officials expected tolls on I-405 would raise $5.5 million, but it’s ended up being more than triple that, at $17.5 million. Revenue after expenses is used for I-405 improvements. (Bellingham Herald)

Colorado Begins Mileage Tax Test: Colorado is seeking volunteers for an experiment whereby they would pay 1.2 cents per mile driven instead of the 22-cent-per-gallon gas tax. The vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax is often proposed as a more stable and more use-linked transportation tax. (Denver Post)

Maine Ballot Initiatives Will Get Recount: On Election Day, Question 1 legalizing and taxing marijuana passed 374,568 yes to 372,343 no, and Question 2 raising income taxes by 3 percentage points passed 376,445 yes to 367,917 no. Opponents of both initiatives have submitted enough petitions to begin a recount. (Bangor Daily News / Maine Public Radio)

Rhode Island Eyes Marijuana Legalization and Taxation: With nearby Maine and Massachusetts moving forward on legal marijuana, Rhode Island is considering catching up by passing legislation in 2017. (State Tax Notes)

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