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Gallatin Co. voters to reconsider marijuana sales tax after administrative error

Posted at 8:57 AM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 12:41:06-04

BOZEMAN - Two weeks ago Gallatin County voters said 'yes' to a 3 percent sales tax on medical and recreational marijuana. But now, voters will once again see the two questions in the fall.

On Monday, June 20, 2022, the results from the June Primary were certified in Gallatin County, however, the two marijuana tax questions were left out of the certification for now.

“When I saw that I missed that... it's just a shock that goes through you,” says Gallatin County Clerk and Recorder, Eric Semerad.

An administrative error means both the marijuana sales excise taxes were not certified.

“I noticed that there is a notice requirement for the election as well that I did not post,” says Semerad.

State law regarding the local option excise tax requires a notice of election to be posted twice, the first time 45 days before the election and the second time no later than 30 days before the election. That deadline was missed for the June 7th primary.

“The first time it was published was on the 22nd of May. The last legal time it could've been published was on the 8th of May,” Semerad told Gallatin County Commissioners.

Now that these two ballot questions are not certified voters will once again see them on the November ballot.

“This is the exact same item that is being re-run because of an administrative error and that we do need to vote on that issue,” says Semerad.

The county was set to begin taxing in October but now they’ll have to wait.

“We'll have lost probably 6 months of funding which is hundreds of thousands of dollars to support mental health services. So that's the collateral of this hiccup,” says Gallatin County Commissioner, Zach Brown.

Commissioners are hoping voters will once again approve the marijuana taxes.

“Despite the fact that we're going to have to reject those results this month, we'll move forward and give the voters another chance to weigh in,” says Brown.

The question to add a 3 percent excise sales tax is set to appear again in the November 8th election.