Yo, listen up, fam! St. Louis city officials just dropped a bombshell this week. They straight up failed to meet a state deadline and now they gonna be losing out on some serious dough. We talkin’ $500,000, homies! And what’s the reason for this major screw-up? Well, it’s all because of a delay in starting a new cannabis sales tax. Damn, talk about a missed opportunity.
Back in April, the good people of St. Louis voted in favor of a 3% cannabis sales tax. This decision came after weed was legalized statewide in the November 2022 election. You know, when the whole state was like, “Weed is legal, bro!”
Under Missouri’s marijuana laws, local governments can add their own sales tax on top of the state’s 6% pot tax. So, earlier this year, St. Louis officials put a proposal on the ballot to add a 3% tax specifically for cannabis. They said this money would be used to tackle inequality in the city. One of the leaders behind this idea was former city Alderman Brandon Bosley. He said he hoped the cash could be used to keep young people outta trouble. That’s what I’m talking about, tryna make a positive impact!
The voters came through and approved the tax in April. They gave the city the green light to start collecting that sweet cannabis tax money. But hold up, there’s a catch! Before they could start collecting this cash, the city had to do some paperwork. They had to get certified election results and notify the Missouri Department of Revenue that they were ready to start taxing weed.
According to the law, if they did all this by the end of June, they could have started collecting that tax on October 1. But guess what? Last week, someone in the city finance department dropped the ball and realized they forgot to send those important notifications to the state. Oops!
Thankfully, someone had the decency to spill the beans and let the mayor’s office know about the mistake. Shout out to that person, for real! St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones and her policy director, Casey Millburg, wasted no time and got that paperwork filed with the state on November 14. The next day, they got confirmation that everything was cool.
But here’s the sad part, my peeps. Because of this blunder, St. Louis missed out on collecting that cannabis tax money from October 1 until the end of the year. We don’t know exactly how much they would’ve made during that time, but city Budget Director Paul Payne estimated that they could be raking in around $600,000 every quarter. That’s some serious cheddar!
Now, we don’t know who exactly dropped the ball on this one. The mayor’s office usually handles these kinds of submissions, but apparently, other departments have done it in the past too. So, we gotta figure out who’s responsible and make sure this doesn’t happen again.
The worst part is that this $500,000 loss isn’t pocket change for St. Louis. It may not be a big chunk of their billion-dollar budget, but Alderwoman Cara Spencer ain’t playing around. She’s the chair of the Board of Aldermen’s budget committee, and she knows that every dollar counts. She said this money could’ve been used to help seniors by freezing property taxes for a whole year. That’s a big deal!
So yeah, folks in St. Louis are pretty pissed off right now. They just went through a tough budget cycle, and now they’re dealing with this huge mistake. It’s frustrating as hell! But hey, at least they’re learning from their mistakes and trying to figure out how to avoid this mess in the future. That’s a step in the right direction.
So, St. Louis missed out on half a million dollars in pot taxes. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but they gotta keep pushin’ and make sure they don’t miss any more opportunities. We need that cash flow, yo! Let’s hope they get their act together and start stacking that paper real soon.