KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Jackson County Legislature is considering asking voters to approve a 3% sales tax on all recreational marijuana sales in the county.
Eight KC-area cities have already decided to ask voters to approve an additional sales tax on marijuana. If passed, the cities say marijuana taxes would go into their general revenue funds.
Jackson County originally proposed similar ballot language for a county levy, but now a proposed change outlines exactly how tax money could be used.
Supporters of a new proposal want to earmark money from marijuana taxes to be spent only on veterans support, community preservation, community health services and violent crime prevention across Jackson County.
“It’s also important that when voters go to vote for an additional tax, that they have some type of idea of what the money is going to be used for. And that is the motivation behind being specific in where the money’s going to go,” Megan Marshall, Jackson County Legislator, said.
But opponents of the proposal claim this attempt at transparency is far too vague and said it would be better for elected leaders to determine how best to spend money from a marijuana tax — if it’s approved.
“I’m a little concerned that it’s maybe not specific enough because when we talk about community preservation, I’m not sure what that is. I mean, that could just be a lot of things. A community health, obviously a lot of things, veteran’s support a lot of things,” Jeanie Lauer, Jackson County Legislator, said.
County administrators also said that only tax dollars in the county’s health fund can be spent on public health services, meaning marijuana taxes may not be able to legally fund current community health programs.
The issue will continue at a future meeting after opponents of the plan prevented legislators from voting on the issue.