Kansas City to approve marijuana sales tax poll

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The discussion about asking voters a municipal marijuana sales tax question has finally arrived in Kansas City.

The magic number: 3%. That’s the highest municipal sales tax allowed under Missouri’s Amendment 3 for recreational marijuana.

Three percent might seem like a small number, but it could add up to $10 million a year for Kansas City. The high estimate is based somewhat on the fact that Kansas City has many more dispensaries than other cities pushing the same plan.

Raytown and freedom are already poised to put the question to voters in an April election. Independence, Kansas City and several other cities are also working to approve the same plan.

Kansas City Council members are expected to vote on their proposal during their Thursday meeting.

There’s already a 6% state sales tax on recreational marijuana in Missouri. The 3% city sales tax would be in the hands of voters, who could vote yes or no to the issue of slightly more expensive recreational marijuana.

“In the beginning it was a crime, so if they can take it and turn it into something good, yes,” said one potential voter, Regina Taylor.

“I think it’s fair just because legalization has some additional costs,” said Steve Alley.

“It’s insulting. Overall, the government will do it anyway,” said Christian Martin.

When he met him at the Jackson County courthouse in downtown Kansas City, the tax issue was a bit personal, Martin said.

“This is what I’m going to court for, this is marijuana,” Martin said.

“They got me to go to drug classes and they got me to do these AA meetings, the groups. And I wonder why you let me do all this just for marijuana,” Martin said.

“And now they’re in the process of making weed legal, and I wonder why they don’t just throw my case out the door,” Martin said.

Some marijuana advocacy groups said there continues to be confusion over drug enforcement and deletion. They said the tax laws will likely become clear before the drug court problems are resolved.

Still, local leaders in Kansas City said the tax will have a positive impact.

“That 3% allows us to invest in the quality of life in the neighborhood — in garbage collection, in preventing homelessness, and most importantly, in preventing violence — three things that we routinely underfund,” said Kansas Mayor Quinton Lucas City.

Medical marijuana card holders would be exempt from paying the additional 3% city sales tax.

But on the tax issue, Martin said it pained the city to make money off marijuana before his case was dropped.

“It’s irritating. I’m on the phone with my girl and I tell her it’s how irritating. They put me through all of this because of marijuana. Just marijuana,” Martin said.

“And it’s legal. It’s legal now,” Martin’s friend said over the phone’s speaker.

“Yeah, so I feel like she shouldn’t let me go through all this. She should have just thrown it out of the courtroom,” Martin said.

https://fox2now.com/news/missouri/kansas-city-looks-to-approve-ballot-question-for-marijuana-sales-tax/ Kansas City to approve marijuana sales tax poll

Sarah Y. Kim

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