Should Kansas City impose a 3% surcharge on recreational marijuana to raise funds for enhancing community safety? As of late, voters have been the ones holding the ace. On Thursday, a question on whether the city should add the additional tax to assist pay solutions to chronic difficulties in Kansas City was approved by a vote of 9 to 2.
The April 4 general municipal election will be held. Cannabis used for medical purposes would be exempt from the levy. Both Brandon Ellington, who represents all of District 3, and Heather Hall, who represents District 1, voted against the ordinance. The mayor’s office projects that the tax will bring in a total of $6.5 million in the first five years, with $3 million in the first year and $10 million in the fifth.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, who sponsored the measure, said earlier this week that the funds will be distributed through the city’s health department and used to support initiatives aimed at improving the city’s aesthetics, reducing homelessness, and reducing violence. Lucas argued that without these funds, annual concessions from the general fund would be necessary to finance neighbourhood improvements.
“It demonstrates that we are serious about social justice, and mental health, and addressing the underlying causes of these problems by providing concrete resources to do so. I don’t think we’ve done it enough over the years,” Lucas told The Star on Monday.
Income for other cities in Jackson County besides Kansas City could increase thanks to the legalisation of marijuana. Several smaller cities, including Raytown, Independence, and Lee’s Summit, are also considering adopting the tax.
Voters in Missouri’s statewide election last November authorised the collection of a 6% sales tax on recreational marijuana purchases to support marijuana oversight programmes and seal convictions for earlier marijuana offences.
Kansas City is also attempting to make money off of cannabis. According to Lucas, this is how the money would be spent.
Residents of Kansas City Have Long Bemoaned the Unsightliness of Unlawful Dumping All Across the City, but Notably in Underserved Areas and Along Key Thoroughfares.
According to An Audit of The City that Was Made Public in April, It Takes the Public Works Department an Average of 24 Days to Clear up A Site of Illegal Dumping After Receiving a Notice. Residents’ Approval of Efforts to Clean up Unlawful Dumps Also Dropped to A Six-Year Low, According to The Audit.
In Line with The City’s Long-Term Climate Goals, Lucas Plans to Invest Some of The Money in Local Clean-Ups.
Homeless Advocates in Kansas City Have Been Complaining About the Increasing Need for Emergency Shelters Since Last Summer when The Weather Turned Colder. on A Steamy Day in July, Kansas City Contractor and Volunteer Street Outreach Worker Jennifer Hull Told the Star that All Shelter Beds for Families, Transitional Youth, Unaccompanied Youth, Domestic Violence Survivors, and Single Females Were Taken.
Emergency Low Barrier to Entry Shelters, as Proposed by Local Authorities, Would Make It Easier for More Individuals to Gain Quick Access to Protection by Removing Several of The Current Shelters’ Prerequisites and Admission Restrictions.
Lucas Proposes Allocating a Portion of The Money Gained from The Legalisation of Marijuana to Support Emergency Shelters with Minimal Requirements for Admittance. “that Has Been Completed in Many Other Cities but Has Been Delayed Several Times in Kansas City. He told the Star on Monday that Price Was One of The Factors.
While Expanding Access to Emergency Shelters Is a High Priority, Lucas Also Wants to Use Some of The Money to Pay for Mental Health and Other Support Services that The City Hasn’t Been Able to Pay for With Its General Revenue Stream.
Kansas City Saw Its Second-Deadliest Year on Record in 2022, with 171 Homicides Overall and Three Police Officer Deaths from On-Duty Shootings. up Until Recently, Experts in Kansas City Claimed that A Coordinated and All-Encompassing strategy that received adequate funding and involved all relevant parties was impossible to achieve.
But by the end of 2022, city officials claimed to have found answers, citing joint projects like the new Partners for Peace violence intervention initiative and the local victim-witness relocation programme. The mayor’s office, the prosecutor’s office, and the police department have all come together for the first time in years to concentrate on reducing local violence, but the future of their budget is still unclear.
When asked about the first funding needs of Partners for Peace, Johnson told The Star in late 2022 that she anticipated a yearly budget of $2 million to $3 million. In the first draught of her request, she had proposed taking the funds from the city’s general fund.
Now, Lucas is counting on money from marijuana taxes to fill the budget hole and help support youth initiatives and other anti-violence initiatives like Aim4Peace.
He claimed the money will be used to “really start to do something more than just coming up to crime scenes after problems have already occurred,” meaning it would be put toward programmes that mentor and help young people resolve conflicts and prevent reprisal. He thinks the city’s commitment to reducing violence can be communicated through the establishment of a reliable financing source.