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Callaway County residents to decide on recreational marijuana sales tax

by Anakin Bush | January 28, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

The Callaway County Commission had a single issue to consider when it met Monday.

Commissioners discussed putting a 3 percent sales tax on adult recreational marijuana in the county on the ballot for the upcoming general municipal election.

Presiding Commissioner Gary Jungermann said the City of Fulton and the City of Holts Summit are also putting a tax on recreational marijuana on the ballot.

Callaway County Clerk Ronda Miller said Holts Summit, Fulton, Kingdom City and Callaway County will all be on the ballot asking for a sales tax. Each will be a seperate listing on the ballot.

If the sales tax passes in any individual city and in Callaway County, recreational marijuana purchased in any of the cities would have a 6 percent sales tax.

Jungermann said lots of other counties are also adding the sales tax to the ballot.

He said he thinks there are loopholes in the amendment that allow for the 3 percent sales tax. Jungermann said it can only be charged to recreational marijuana and not medical marijuana.

Western District Commissioner Roger Fischer said he is strongly in favor of putting the tax on the ballot for Callaway County in order to increase general revenue to pay for the expenses that recreational marijuana requires.

He said recreational marijuana will erode workplace productivity. Fischer added that the county will have to deal with the reprecussions of recreational marijuana, while cities just get to enjoy the additonal tax.

"Taxed or not taxed, the county's going to have to pay. It's going to cost in a lot of other ways to deal with families and drugs in the future because of this, is what I believe," Fischer said.

Callaway County does not currently have a recreational or medical marijuana dispensary.

Eastern District Commissioner Randall Kleindienst does not want to tax the people of Callaway County any more.

"We don't even have a dispensary," Kleindienst said. "Let's get a dispensary, and if we need to look at it then, we can."

Just because other counties are imposing the sales tax, that does not mean Callaway County has to, he continued.

Jungermann said the recreational marijuana sales tax would have the same process as other sales taxes, and explained vendors send the sales tax money to the state of Missouri, which then dispenses the money.

Fischer voted to put the sales tax on the upcoming ballot, while Kleindienst voted against it. Jungermann was the deciding vote, and voted yes to the tax.

He said if the vote on the ballot fails, he does not plan on putting it on the ballot again every year.

The Callaway County Commission also wondered if Missouri was going to put additional taxes on recreational marijuana sales.

Jungermann said the upcoming ballot will read, "Shall Callaway County, Missouri, impose a county-wide sales tax of three percent on all tangible personal property retail sales of adult use marijuana sold in Callaway County?"

Print Headline: Callaway County residents to decide on recreational marijuana sales tax


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