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St. Louis and O'Fallon consider 3% sales tax on recreational marijuana

Both cities say it could be an important stream of revenue.

ST. LOUIS — The cities of St. Louis and O’Fallon are considering a 3% sales tax on recreational marijuana, that’s in addition to the state's six percent.

City of St. Louis Ward 12 Alderman Bill Stephens said the money from the sales tax would go into the general fund.

“I think we're all aware of the declining population of the city. That means a shrinking tax base. So I think in a lot of ways, this 3% tax could absolutely be a much-needed lifeline for the city's operations,” Stephens said.

If the Board of Alderman passes the bill it would go in front of voters in April 2023.

“It is not a tax that would apply to medical or any other commodity. It's really just those that would like to partake in legal recreational cannabis,” Stephens said.

Mayor Bill Hennessy says the City of O’Fallon wants to do the same.

“You're paying for the sales tax on the cigarettes and the alcohol and all that other stuff. So why should the state just get their money and the city not get their money?” Hennessey said. 

5 On Your Side’s Laura Barczewski asked Hennessey, “Is there an area of need where you would hope to see it go towards?”

“Wherever we need it the most come to budget time. If there's a shortfall somewhere, if it's roads or if it's police, if it's wherever it's at, that's where we would use it,” Hennessey said.

Hennessy says they had quite a bit of support for the last tax they sent to the voters and expect the same for this one.

“I think it will impact the city very much. I mean, with a sales tax, if we go into a recession or whatever it is, at least we'll have that sales tax coming in,” Hennessey said.

For both St. Louis and O’Fallon, these marijuana sales tax bills will likely be approved next year, as soon as January.

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