Politics & Government

Illinois’ legalization of cannabis sales is only months away. Here’s how it may be taxed.

With the official legalization of cannabis in Illinois mere months away, the St. Clair County Board is preparing to vote on a way to tax it.

St. Clair County Board members are set to vote on an ordinance that would establish a county cannabis retailers occupation tax at a special meeting of the board Monday night.

Board members will vote to increase taxes on cannabis sales by “persons engaged in the business of selling cannabis,” according to the ordinance.

If approved, cannabis sales could be taxed up to 3.75 percent in .25 percent increments for sales in unincorporated areas of St. Clair County and up to 3 percent in .25 percent increments in municipalities in St. Clair County. That’s in addition to sales taxes already in place.

County Board Chairman Mark Kern could not be reached for comment, and no one else in county government was immediately available to explain the tax.

It could not be immediately determined whether this retail tax would be instead of or in addition to the normal sales taxes that are already in place.

The county will be the first in the metro-east to vote on taxation of cannabis since cannabis sales were made legal through new state law.

However, cities in the area have already started discussing how cannabis sales will be handled. In some cases, cities are discussing whether they’ll even allow the sale of cannabis products within their corporate limits.

Sales will officially become legal Jan. 1, 2020.

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Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.
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