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Missouri marijuana users may get double dose of local sales tax

KCTV Kansas City 4/1/2023 Mark Poulose
The price Missourians pay for marijuana could soon be getting higher... © Provided by KCTV Kansas City The price Missourians pay for marijuana could soon be getting higher...

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The price Missourians pay for marijuana could soon be getting higher. On Tuesday, many ballots across Missouri will have a pot tax on them.

Currently, marijuana has a sales tax of 6% across the state of Missouri. On April 4, several counties in the Kansas City area will ask voters to approve a 3% county sales tax on marijuana. Jackson, Platte, Clay, and Cass counties will all have the 3% sales tax on the ballot.

At the same time, some cities in those counties will also ask the voters to approve a 3% city sales tax on marijuana. This includes Kansas City, Lee’s Summit and Independence -- among others.

This creates a “tax stack,” where two local taxes are placed on the same good.

KCTV5 talked to Missouri State Representative Aaron McMullen (R-Independence), who told us the tax stack wasn’t the intention of the amendment that legalized marijuana.

“I think this is kind of a unique situation, because we’ve never had this amount of revenue come in immediately,” McMullen said. “We have all these municipalities looking at it and wanting to get a piece of it.”

The pie is quite large. In February alone, the state of Missouri saw more than $100 million worth of marijuana sold. KCTV5 reached out to the Missouri Cannabis Trade Association and they told us stacking taxes violates Missouri’s constitution:

“Article 14 of the Missouri Constitution specifies that sales that take place inside the city limits can be taxed by the municipality, whereas sales that take place in unincorporated areas can be taxed by the county. Efforts to stack these taxes would be unconstitutional.”

Unconstitutional or not, the issue is on the ballot. Many local Missouri voters will have to choose if they want to pay both a city and county tax on marijuana.

“I think it’s a great source of revenue that the city should definitely tap into,” McMullen said. “It’s just unfortunate that other municipalities are reading into that ambiguity and trying to take advantage of it.”

Missourians can vote on the marijuana taxes on Tuesday, April 4.

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