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Springfield City Council sends 3-percent recreational marijuana tax proposal to voters

 Cannabis buds.
Herba Connect
Cannabis buds.

On Monday Springfield City Council voted 9-to-zero to ask city voters at a future election whether they want to approve a 3-percent sales tax on recreational marijuana.

Back in April’s elections, Springfield was one of the biggest cities in Missouri not to have adopted a 3-percent tax on sales of adult-use marijuana from legal dispensaries. The new local taxes are allowed under Missouri’s recreational marijuana amendment passed last year.

In addition to the local sales taxes, Missouri tacks on its own 6-percent sales tax for recreational marijuana. The state also taxes sales to medical marijuana patients. That’s at a lower rate, 4 percent.

In their earlier discussions on setting up a local sales tax, Springfield councilmembers heard estimates that the tax could bring in several million dollars each year.

Council’s unanimous vote Monday nighty means voters in Springfield city limits will see the new tax question on their August 8th ballots. If the tax passes, City Council wants to use the proceeds to fund public safety, mental health services, housing, and substance abuse services.

Two city residents with Springfield Tenants Unite told Council on Monday that they want the funding to focus on affordable housing, should voters approve the tax.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs.