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COVID-19

Santa Barbara County Counts On Cannabis Taxes As Economic Downturn Looms

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Facing an economic downturn like many counties in California, the County of Santa Barbara is looking to income from the cannabis industry to bolster its essential services.

In a budget report sent to the Board of Supervisors, Executive Officer Mona Miyasato said that though people are talking about a recession, "what we really are is in a state of economic paralysis."

The county is looking at tapping their economic reserves, as well as state and federal assistance.

The report says property taxes seem like they'll be okay, but there will be a clear drop in sales and hotel bed taxes.

What the county does have is a strong cannabis industry.  It's looking at taxes from that industry to pay for the Sheriff's Department, and the Fire Department.

That also includes the opening of a new jail in the Santa Maria area later this year.