PARKVILLE, Mo. — When Parkville voters cast their ballots in November, elected leaders will ask them to pass a marijuana tax for the first time, and a use tax on out-of-state purchases for the second time in a year.
The use tax called Proposition T is similar to the Proposition U tax voters narrowly rejected in April.
It would put a 2.5% tax on out-of-state online purchases, trying to balance out the sales tax that would be collected if the purchase was made at a local establishment.
Mayor Dean Katerndahl says it’s badly needed because there are few other options to pay for trails and transportation.
“We have no funds dedicated to capital improvements, to funding street improvements, new trails or maintaining existing trails,” Katerndahl said.
Katerndahl says some major capital improvement projects need matching funds from the city to keep grants from the state and federal government. One massive project is redesigning and improving Route 9 through Parkville where $2 million from Parkville would be matched with $5 million in grants.
Without the roughly $300,000 the city thinks could be generated every year, Katerndahl says the city will have to pull money from other priorities or even pass up grant money.
“We don’t enjoy coming back and asking for a tax but it’s just so important, once you sit up there, how do we pay for this,” Katerndahl said.
Eighty percent of the money raised would go for street projects with 20% going to maintaining trails that keep people like Ian Jennings and his family coming back.
“I’ve looked at it for years, seen it over here and never actually ridden it so I figure, we all got the bikes so we might as well give it a shot,” Jennings said while pumping up his family’s bike tires.
The second tax on the ballot is a 3% tax on marijuana purchases, bringing Parkville in line with taxes that many other cities have already implemented.
What’s relatively unique is that Parkville only has a single dispensary, so that’s the only place where that tax would apply.
“Yeah, so we’re not expecting a windfall, unless, people are smoking more than we know,” joked Katerndahl.