St. Louis pot tax money goes up in smoke thanks to city hall blunder

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ST. LOUIS – It’s a mistake that could cost St. Louis at least $500,000, according to Alderwoman Cara Spencer.

It’s not her mistake, but she was willing to talk about it with FOX 2.

“This is unacceptable,” she said. “To fail to file paperwork, and now the city’s going to lose out on a good amount of revenue.”

She’s disappointed after hearing city hall staffers mistakenly hit the snooze button on taxing recreational pot.

The words only people in Missouri say

The Missouri Department of Revenue told FOX 2 that it’s up to cities to notify the state when they pass a tax and that St. Louis failed to report that it passed a 3% pot tax in April. The tax was supposed to start on Oct. 1.

The mayor’s office declined to talk on camera, but a spokesperson agreed the mistake was unacceptable. He said staff scrambled to file the necessary paperwork to avoid missing out on what could have been six months of missed tax revenue. Instead, he said, the city will lose three months of revenue and the tax on recreational pot will begin on Jan. 1, 2024.

The spokesperson added, “Moving forward, we will be clearly defining the lines of responsibility so that no sales tax revenue from future sales tax measures is missed.”


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