South KC Perspective
By John Sharp
Besides the municipal and school board elections that will be on the ballot April 4, voters in much of the metropolitan area will also decide the fate of several ballot measures.
In both KCMO and Grandview, voters will be asked whether or not to approve a new 3% sales tax on the retail sale of non-medicinal adult use marijuana in their cities as authorized by the Missouri constitutional amendment legalizing the possession and sale of recreational marijuana in the state approved by state voters in November.
The tax will require approval of a simple majority of those voting to pass.
The sale of non-medicinal adult use marijuana can begin in the state on February 6 at any comprehensive marijuana dispensary licensed by the state.
The KCMO measure provides that money from the tax will be used exclusively to fund homeless prevention activities, refuse and neighborhood cleanups and violence prevention services through the City Health Department.
City staff estimates the measure will bring in about $3 million in revenue annually when first implemented, and that amount is estimated to grow to about $10 million annually by its fifth year in effect.
The Grandview measure is expected to generate $50,000 to $150,000 annually, according to City Administrator Cemal Gungor.
Jackson County is widely expected to put a countywide 3% tax on the retail sale of non-medicinal adult use marijuana on the April ballot. An ordinance to submit the proposed tax to county voters was introduced January 9 by County Legislator Jalen Anderson.
The legislature’s Budget Committee conducted an initial hearing on the ordinance January 17. Anderson said the ordinance was held for a week to compare its proposed ballot language with the language of similar measures by other area jurisdictions.
KCMO voters also will be asked whether to approve extending the city’s 7.5% convention and tourism lodging tax now paid by guests at hotels and motels to all lodging establishments, including short-term rentals, that are not currently subject to the tax. Staff estimates that will bring in about $2 to $3 million annually to promote conventions and tourism in the city.
In addition, KCMO voters will be asked whether to approve increasing the license fee of $1.50 a day on occupied hotel and motel rooms to $3.00 a day and extending the fee to short term rentals. That increase is estimated to bring in about $4.5 million annually.
Money from the fee will be used to fund the city’s convention and tourism activities.