KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County voters will now get to decide in April if the county can tax recreational marijuana sales.
The legislature’s decision comes after county leaders worked out a plan Tuesday about how they’d like to spend that revenue.
Jackson County legislators agreed to a compromise and managed to get the question on the ballot just before Tuesday’s ballot.
The ballot question will tell voters that, if approved, the county would create a special revenue fund for community services and veteran support services, but it will also be part of Jackson County’s general revenue, which legislators control.
“I feel if you are going to ask voters to pay for an additional tax, they should know where it’s going,” Legislator Megan Marshall said. “I believe we achieved that with the language we came up with.”
Some county lawmakers opposed earmarking the tax for specific uses, arguing that elected leaders must have the flexibility to respond to needs that arise.
In the end, both sides said they got what they wanted.
“There’s more things we agree on than we disagree on,” Legislator Jalen Anderson said. “From yesterday to today there’s been a complete change, and I hope the legislature will work more closely together and not in a faction way.”
If county voters say yes, the tax will also pay for the costs of April’s special election once it takes effect.
Jackson County will now join at least a dozen other local governments — including Kansas City, Blue Springs, Independence and more — that are trying to collect tax from marijuana sales.