Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Yes, Springfield, you can spend the money
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Yes, Springfield, you can spend the money

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2021

* WICS TV

Illinois marijuana sales brought in over a billion dollars last year.

The sales tax from cannabis can help cities like Springfield, but because of a state law, the capital city can’t currently use any of the sales tax revenue.

“It’s a conundrum for us because here we are getting this money, we want to spend it and allocate it, but we can’t because our hands are tied due to state law,” City of Springfield Budget Director Bill McCarty said.

* SJ-R

The reason being that Springfield only has two dispensaries selling recreational products — both owned by the same company, Ascend Wellness.

If McCarty were to disclose the revenue the city’s received from the tax, he would in effect be disclosing their sales, which is a violation of state law.

The only people with access to the confidential information are McCarty, Mayor Jim Langfelder, deputy mayor Bonnie Drew and city attorney Jim Zerkle.

Per guidance received from the Illinois Department of Revenue, McCarty said the city would need at least five recreational dispensaries before it could disclose cannabis revenue as the law is currently constructed.

“Therefore, we’re simply sitting on the money,” McCarty said. “I know how much has come in, but it’s all mixed in with our regular sales tax. So it’s not reported individually out there anywhere, and I’m not reporting it. We’re also not putting it in the budget, and we’re also not spending it.”

* So, I checked with the governor’s office…

The administration remains committed to ensuring the new adult-use cannabis industry benefits communities across the state which is why the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act does not prevent municipalities from spending revenue received from taxes imposed on the sale of cannabis. Though Springfield is currently home to only one dispensary, they are legally allowed to spend tax dollars received from the dispensary if they do not identify the source of the funding in their budget.

Background…

Springfield is one of 44 municipalities with only one dispensary. The IL Dept. of Revenue includes cannabis dollars in lump sum payments to municipalities, which include general sales tax and the motor fuel tax, which publicly protects the source of any cannabis tax dollars.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

19 Comments
  1. - Bruce( no not him) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:04 pm:

    If they can’t spend it, maybe just give it back to the state? S/


  2. - Merica - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:08 pm:

    why doesn’t this money go to pensions? crazy


  3. - Perrid - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:10 pm:

    So what, they just have to lump it in with the normal sales tax revenue and everything is copacetic? Why was it assumed that Springfield would have to report it separately, in the budget or whatever?


  4. - Essential State Employee - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:11 pm:

    ==why doesn’t this money go to pensions==

    Or to fixing the city streets? Especially the major ones full of potholes that are heavily used. MacArthur, South 5th and 6th, the list goes on and on (although I thought all of these were still under IDOT jurisdiction because they are former state and US routes).


  5. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:12 pm:

    Merica -

    Actually, half of the proceeds is allocated as an additional payment to police and fire pensions.


  6. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:13 pm:

    Essential State Employee -

    And the other half is designated for economic development on the East Side of Springfield.


  7. - essentially working - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:20 pm:

    Fascinating how they were able to take almost everything that is wrong with government control of markets and bundle it into one initiative.


  8. - Brenden Moore - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:30 pm:

    The reason Springfield can’t spend it is because the City Council voted last year to use the 3% tax for specific purposes (half towards an extra payment to police/fire pensions and the other half towards east side economic development). They could spend it if the revenue was just going into the corporate fund. But it’s not.


  9. - Blake - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:31 pm:

    “if they do not identify the source of the funding in their budget”

    What does that mean? Just that they are not allowed to set up a separate fund for it? Have to put it in their General Revenue Fund?


  10. - Blake - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:32 pm:

    It appears Brenden Moore answered my question as I was typing.


  11. - Tommydanger - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:53 pm:

    ‘Spend the money; you just can’t say where it comes from.’ That doesn’t sound so much like sound certified government accounting practices as much as it sounds like laundering money for an illegal enterprise.


  12. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 4:08 pm:

    Everything about marijuana sales, growth anything should be disclosed. This is a special license and benefit not some grocery store. And as for disclosure I would go for income to owners and who owners are and what political contributions they have made over last ten years.


  13. - Al - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 4:17 pm:

    I agree with Dupage saint on Sunshine. Would also be interested to know the gross revenue and cost of goods sold for our Liquor Warehousemen too.


  14. - JoanP - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 4:40 pm:

    =The reason Springfield can’t spend it is because the City Council voted last year to use the 3% tax for specific purposes =

    Then they should:

    a) blame themselves, not the State, and/or
    b) take another vote


  15. - Bill McCarty - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 4:50 pm:

    Brenden is correct. We absolutely could spend the money if allocated to general purposes, but the Council has dedicated it, which means I have to transparently (which is a good thing by the way) budget it. Doing so would divulge the amount collected and thus, violate state law. Additionally, other city elected officials and members of the public rightfully want to know what the tax is bringing in and as it stands, their finance offices cannot tell them. I’ve confirmed this with some of my counterparts in the Chicago area.


  16. - Leslie K - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 5:17 pm:

    Was the decision to dedicate the money part of negotiations over whether Springfield would opt-in to recreational sales?

    Definitely sounds like a decision that needs a do-over. Or start wooing additional companies to open up more dispensaries in Springfield. Just sayin’ it could be a win-win…


  17. - Pelonski - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 5:48 pm:

    Bill,

    It sounds like the city council’s ordinance has tied your hands, not state law.


  18. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 6:17 pm:

    Leslie and Pelonski, I appreciate your comments.

    Leslie, that was a Council decision from the get go when passing the MROT (Municipal Retailers Occupation Tax). I am sorry, but I can’t speak to their internal discussions/negotiations on that.

    Pelonski, in a manner of speaking, you are correct. I suppose it is a philosophical discussion on whether communities should be able to specifically direct the dollars collected from the tax. As it stands, they cannot except under very general terms. Further, it is State law that does prevent any cities from reporting to their Councils and the public what the cannabis tax revenue amounts are until there are at least 5 dispensaries in town (per IDOR), inhibiting transparency. As I mentioned, Springfield is not the only city that wishes it could report that revenue and none of us can at the moment.


  19. - Captain Obvious - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 7:38 pm:

    Why is it a problem for the public to know how much revenue a dispensary generates? This is a government sanctioned business that would not exist legally without that special dispensation granted by the people of Illinois. We should not be prevented from seeing all the details of its operation. It is not a wholly private business.


TrackBack URI

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* 1,442 new confirmed and probable cases; 33 additional deaths; 1,166 hospitalized; 263 in ICU; 2.2 percent average case positivity rate; 2.8 percent average test positivity rate; 83,115 average daily doses
* CDC report: Masks decrease spread, but on-premises restaurant dining increases it
* Unemployment applications rose nationally last week, fell slightly in Illinois
* Kass (no, not that Kass, the smart one) argues against austerity
* Democrats, business leaders argue for phased approach to full reopening, and they want it to start soon
* Chicago Sun-Times: “Illinois Can’t Sit Back And Wait For The Federal Government To Do The Job.” CEJA Can’t Wait.
* Durbin agreed to back Harris before flipping to Kelly
* *** UPDATED x1 - Local 150 responds, criticizes plaintiffs *** Appellate ruling: Transportation lock box amendment doesn't apply to home rule units
* ALPLM hires first person of color as executive director
* Support The Illinois Healthy Youth Act – SB266
* Open thread
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller