The Jefferson City Council voted to place a retail sales tax proposal for recreational marijuana at 3% in the city’s spring municipal election. On Tuesday night, the City Council voted overwhelmingly to approve the measure. Last November, voters in Missouri approved Amendment 3, legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and older.
Furthermore, a 6% state tax is added by this amendment. The city attorney, Ryan Moehlman, argued that the amendment enabled municipalities to impose a 3% tax on recreational Marijuana. He stated that a quick, unscientific poll suggested that many other communities in Missouri, including Kansas City, are thinking about enacting similar taxes.
According to him, the city stands to gain almost $150,000 from this tax if recreational marijuana sales mirror those of medical marijuana. Jon Hensley of the city council wanted to know if other “vices” were taxed, so he asked Moehlman if he taxed alcohol and tobacco.
According to Ryan Moehlman, recreational Marijuana is the only product of its kind that would be subject to the same tax rates. Hensley remarked, “I don’t like that kind of scheme.” “Other than the obvious financial gain, I can’t think of any other advantages.
Still, for me at least, this was always going to be a part of the Constitutional Amendment package deal. Everyone who cast a vote on this understood that this very question would arise soon after the measure was passed. While I may not agree with the inclusion of a product tax in this proposal, I do believe voters should have the opportunity to express their opinions.”
Even though this tax revenue will be added to the city’s general fund, some council members have shown interest in seeing a portion of it go toward local police enforcement. Councilman Scott Spencer proposed allocating the funds to the justice system, local courts, the prosecutor’s office, and law enforcement.
“That would have to be done during the time frame of our budget. I believe it’s crucial that we have a clear intention for these tax monies to be used in those ways.” Councilman Ron Fitzwater warned that “we are going to have additional costs in enforcement.” “We’re going to have extra costs whether or not the tax is approved.”
Carrie Tergin, the mayor, agreed. “I would agree with such sentiments and support this proposal,” Tergin remarked. In terms of public safety, I don’t see what further could be added. Within the city limits of Jefferson City, there are currently two dispensaries.
To Moehlman’s satisfaction, medicinal marijuana clinics will be the first to be permitted to sell recreational marijuana. In addition, a maximum 3 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana can be imposed by the county as per Amendment 3. That’s in addition to federal, state, and local taxes.
Cole County has not taken any decisions on the topic, as verified by Mayor Carrie Tergin. The percentage of people voting for Amendment 3 in Cole County was around 44%, while the percentage voting against it was around 56%.