Cape Girardeau residents to vote on 3% marijuana tax in April

Cape Girardeau marijuana tax
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 7:00 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Voters in Cape Girardeau will get a chance to vote on a 3-percent marijuana tax on the April 4th ballot.

The measure was approved by the city council on Monday night, January 9. It calls for up to a quarter of the money raised by the tax to be allocated to the police department to spend on drug and mental health programs.

The rest of the money would fall into the city’s general fund.

The wording on the ballot reads:

“Not more than one-quarter of the monies collected by the City of Cape Girardeau from this tax shall fund the police department, subject to appropriation by the Cape Girardeau City Council, for mental health and drug treatment and prevention. The police department may partner and provide grants to not-for-profit organizations for mental health and drug addiction treatment programs certified by the Missouri Department of Mental Health located in the city of Cape Girardeau.”

If the tax passes, the police department would get roughly 25% of the proceeds.

The rest would go into the city’s general fund.

Cape Girardeau may be the only city in Missouri to set aside money for any specific purpose, according to council discussion.

The tax is estimated to bring in about $150,000 each year. The city will also get revenue from the regular sales of marijuana as part of the sales tax.

The council debated the wording on the ballot, but needed to get the first reading passed at Monday night’s meeting, so no changes were made.

Council is up against a deadline to get the proposal on the April ballot.

In other actions. a public hearing was set at the January 23 meeting to discuss the rezone of property at 2530 Marsha Kay Drive. The Planning and Zoning Commission failed to recommend changing the property to commercial.

The property is currently owned by a church and they are hoping to the sell the property, which is zoned for residential purposes.

Property at 2854 Cape La Croix was approved to be rezoned from R1 to R4 which would allow apartments to be built on the land.

Mayor Stacy Kinder asked the staff study the response to the power outage during the cold weather.

She was pleased with the city’s response to help residents who went hours without power when temperatures were at or near zero. However, she felt a plan needs to be in place to deal with a larger emergency.

The council adjourned into special session for discussions on real estate and personnel issues.

You can watch the full city council meeting from Monday night below.