Use tax, marijuana sales tax among the propositions on April 4 ballot


Photo by Erin Achenbach

Citizens vote at the Sunset Hills Community Center April 2, 2019.

By Staff Report

Voters in South County will decide on a use tax, a proposition related to elections and a marijuana sales tax depending on where they live in the county in the election Tuesday, April 4.

Fenton is asking voters to approve a use tax and Grantwood Village is asking whether or not to hold elections during years when there aren’t any competitive races. Voters in unincorporated St. Louis County, as well as Crestwood and Sunset Hills are being asked whether or not to impose a 3-percent sales tax on adult-use recreational marijuana sales.

In Fenton, the use tax will appear on the ballot as “Proposition U” and asks whether or not the city should impose a local use tax at the same rate as the total local sales tax rate. If approved, the use tax would match Fenton’s current local sales tax rate of half a cent per $1.

A use tax applies to purchases from companies outside the state on taxable items that will be stored, used or consumed within the city. If the purchase would have been subject to a sales tax if it had been made in the purchaser’s state of residence, then a use tax is due. The main impact would be on online delivery services like Amazon or other out-of-state services where no tax is collected at the point of sale.

Voters in Grantwood Village will decide on “Proposition A”, which asks voters if the town should forgo the annual election for the Board of Trustees in any year in which the number of candidates who have filed is equal to or less than the number of trustees set to be elected in that year. This year, three candidates — all incumbents — filed for three open seats on the Board of Trustees: Public Works Commissioner Mark Kienstra, Chairman Kevin Kelso and Building Commissioner Kurt Voss.

In unincorporated St. Louis County, as well as the cities of Crestwood and Sunset Hills, voters will determine whether or not to apply a 3-percent sales tax to recreational marijuana sales in their respective municipality or unincorporated area of the county. The question will appear on the ballot as Proposition M in the county, and as Proposition M in Crestwood and Sunset Hills. Several other cities have their own Proposition M on the ballot, including Glendale, Kirkwood, Oakland, Shrewsbury and Valley Park.

Amendment 3 to the Missouri Constitution was approved in November 2022, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state and permits local governments to charge up to a 3-percent sales tax on top of a statewide 6-percent sales tax. It is not possible to charge a higher local sales tax. Recreational sales began in the state last month.