KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Several Missouri cities across the Kansas City metropolitan area are considering whether to ask voters to approve an additional local sales tax on recreational marijuana.
On Tuesday city councils in Independence, Blue Springs and North Kansas City will discuss the topic.
Kansas City’s special committee for legal review was initially set to also discuss the item Tuesday afternoon, before Mayor Quinton Lucas announced that the hearing would be postponed by one week. Lucas officially proposed the idea in November.
When recreational marijuana sales begin later this year, the state of Missouri will collect a 6% sales tax to fund oversight programs and help expunge past marijuana offenses from people’s records.
Cities and counties can add up to 3% more in local sales tax on recreational marijuana. That tax revenue can fund administrative regulation and enforcement programs as well as “equitable neighborhood quality of life” projects. Kansas City would consider using some tax revenue to pay for trash removal and to stop illegal dumping.
The next election in Missouri is April 4. The deadline for municipalities to get a question about marijuana sales tax on the ballot is Jan. 24 at 4 p.m.
Leaders in Belton took one of two necessary steps to put the question to voters. Lee’s Summit plans to introduce the appropriate ordinance at its Community and Economic Development Committee meeting next week. In November, Grain Valley’s city attorney recommended moving forward with the sales tax ballot process.
Retailers do not believe an additional 3% sales tax would tamper demand. The vice president of retail at From the Earth dispensary says the company fields several calls each day asking when recreational sales will begin.
“A few extra percent here and there, I don’t think that’s going to make a huge deal as far as someone’s decision to purchase a safe, tested product,” Tyler Diltz said. “The safety of having a place to come in and purchase it, but as well as the very high testing standards on the product that comes into these stores. That’s something that’s very valuable to a lot of consumers.”
Missouri currently collects 4% from medicinal marijuana sales; that rate will remain in place even after the rollout of recreational sales. Part of tax revenues from medicinal sales fund veterans initiatives in the state.