(The Center Square) – Democratic Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas provided a succinct summary for most of Missouri’s elected leaders after Tuesday’s elections.
“Thank y’all for the weed tax money,” Lucas posted on social media.
Voters approved a 3% recreational marijuana sales tax in dozens of counties and municipalities throughout Missouri on Tuesday. The tax is stacked on the 6% state sales tax approved by voters last November when they approved recreational marijuana.
The approval percentage in the Kansas City region was higher than the St. Louis region. Ballot language in Kansas City and Jackson County included how the tax money would be spent. In St. Louis and St. Louis County, there wasn’t any information pertaining to where the money would be spent.
In Kansas City, 74% of voters approved the tax. The tax revenue will go to provide “neighborhood quality of life improvements, to fund through the Department of Health, refuse and neighborhood cleanup services, homeless prevention services, and violence prevention services administered by the City,” according to the ballot language.
In Jackson County, which includes Kansas City and extends east, 67% of voters passed the tax. The ballot language said the tax revenue would fund “community services and veterans support services through a dedicated special revenue fund and for other purposes authorized for the expenditure of county general revenues.”
Voter turnout was approximately 18% in both the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County. City voters approved the tax with 63% in favor and 65% approved in the county.
“I was proud to work with the Board of Alderman to decriminalize marijuana in 2021, prior to the full statewide vote on legalization last year, and I am ready to continue working alongside the new board to use this funding to address historic wrongs in our communities and strengthen neighborhoods across our city,” St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said in a statement.
St. Charles County, the third-largest county in Missouri with more than 400,000 residents, approved the tax on recreational marijuana with 72% of the vote.
The new taxes won’t apply to medical marijuana purchases. Collections of taxes won’t begin until Oct. 1. However, there appears to be a conflict as to the “stacking” of the sales taxes. Some counties and municipalities contend they each can assess a 3% tax, bringing the total sales tax to 12%. However, organizations who worked to pass the initiative last year believe the language establishing the tax on recreational marijuana limits the assessment to one entity collecting 3%, bringing the total sales tax to 9%.