KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City voters have approved new taxes and fees concerning recreational marijuana and short-term rentals in Tuesday’s municipal election.
City leaders put three questions on the April 4 ballot. Two of the questions directly impact short-term rentals like Airbnb and Vrbo.
Here’s how residents voted and what changes will come with the new approval.
Kansas City was one of over 30 cities and counties in the metro asking voters to approve a 3% local tax on recreational marijuana sales. The tax saw a 73% approval in Kansas City, based on unofficial results.
There is already a 6% state tax on recreational marijuana, and both these taxes will be in addition to the existing sales tax.
The question now becomes whether Jackson County can tack on its own voter-approved 3% sales tax to recreational weed purchases in Kansas City and Jackson County limits. City and county leaders disagree on this matter.
Local taxes will not apply to medical marijuana purchases, and the state will keep its 4% tax rate for anyone with a medical card.
Over five years, Kansas City expects $300 million worth of marijuana to be sold within its borders, and leaders estimate the local tax will eventually add up to $10 million a year in revenue for Kansas City.
“We need to make sure that some of that funding is going to address things like homelessness, mental health, trash issues in our city and violence prevention,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas previously told FOX4.
Kansas City’s second ballot question is one step in the city’s plan to address short-term rentals after a city audit found only 11% of current short-term rentals have the necessary permits. It’s cost the city roughly $1 million in revenue.
After 61% of voters approved the measure Tuesday, Kansas City will now create a 7.5% tax to all lodgings, including short-term rentals, that aren’t already included in the city’s convention and tourism tax.
The new tax would treat traditional hotel rooms and short-term rentals in the same way. The tax would apply to those operating and using short-term rentals, not all residents across Kansas City.
Short-term rentals will once again be affected with Kansas City’s third ballot question, which 62% of voters approved.
The city will now add a $3 license fee onto each sleeping room rented out, per day.
This will apply to both hotels and short-term rentals. Hotels and motels already see a $1.50 fee, so this measure will only increase that.
City leaders said these two ballot questions on short-term rentals are just the beginning. The city is working on how it can identify every short term rental and establish regulations.
See unofficial election results for all three questions below: