SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – In just a week, voters will be heading to the polls.
However, in Springfield and Greene County, voters won’t be deciding on adding an additional recreational marijuana sales tax.
Some leaders said there are still many questions to be answered before a sales tax question could appear before voters in Springfield and Greene County.
“If this was to come up in the future, we would want to have tax numbers,” said Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon. “We would want to have sales data. We would want to know those things. We would want to, for example, know where the funds would be spent. What happens with a tax. Does it drive more of a black market, or is that already occurring?”
For one councilman, Craig Hosmer, he said the city could be missing out on nearly a quarter of a million dollars between now and the next election in August.
Another councilman, Abe McGull, said he is a firm proponent of a sales tax. He believes some of the money should go to help the police department.
“Certain offenses go up, namely nuisance offenses, driving offenses seem to go up, which puts another additional burden on police officers,” said McGull. “We’re looking to add that sales tax and to cover some of that additional enforcement.”
Dixon said it would be important for voters to know just how many taxes they would be paying on marijuana purchases.
“They authorized a six percent tax to the state,” said Dixon. “Regular sales tax is still collected. If you have a city and a county authorizing three percent each, you’re now at a 20 percent tax in the city of Springfield.”
Springfield City Manager Jason Gage said waiting to put something like this on the ballot could provide a learning lesson.
“There are a lot of communities in some counties that are making an effort,” said Gage. “The people in the state of Missouri are not always supportive of taxes. I think there’s an advantage to see how these ballot issues, in other communities and counties, what the outcome is of those issues.”