ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — The Rock Island County Board is pro-pot, at least when it comes to possible tax revenue.
The board unanimously approved a .75% tax on recreational marijuana sales made within cities and a 3.75% tax on sales made in unincorporated areas.
“I know it’s controversial on a lot of levels,” said Rock Island county administrator Jim Snider. “From a revenue standpoint, for a local government I think it’s an opportunity for us to capture some sales tax on items that basically weren’t in place before.”
Snider estimates they could see $200,000 from the tax next year, which would go to the general fund.
“Obviously we have a challenge with the general fund with our wages, and our benefit costs and costs of doing business,” Snider said.
This year the general fund revenue is projected to be just over $27 million, but expenses will be closer to $27.6 million.
The marijuana tax could help bridge that gap.
“Any non property tax based revenue opportunity for the county is, is a good one,” said Rock Island County Board Chairperson Richard Brunk.
This comes a year after the board approved a nearly 12% increase in property taxes to generate an extra half a million dollars for the general fund.
Come Jan. 1, Rock Island County could start seeing money from Nature’s Treatment, which is currently a medical marijuana center in Milan.
“The other people will still have to go through their approval process and their application process before they’re up and running,” said Brunk.
While county officials don’t know exactly how much more money marijuana will bring in, they say any revenue is good revenue.
“That flows from the top,” Snider said. “I mean governor Pritzker is concerned about the state of our budget and our finances in the state.”
The ordinance will now be submitted to the Illinois Department of Revenue.