YORKVILLE – Kendall County will be charging the maximum taxes possible for recreational marijuana, should a dispensary set up shop in the county after the drug’s use becomes legal in Illinois.
The Kendall County Board voted, 8-1, to approve an ordinance establishing a cannabis sales tax in the county during the County Board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Judy Gilmour voted against the measure and Tony Giles was absent from the meeting.
Kendall County Administrator Scott Koeppel said the ordinance says the county would receive a tax of 3.75% on all retail cannabis sales in unincorporated areas of Kendall County, with a 3% tax on sales made inside municipalities also going to the county. He said counties and municipalities each can levy up to 3% of taxes for recreational marijuana.
“So we get it, and then if they so choose, they could also levy 3% of their own,” in addition to their sales tax and what goes to the state, Koeppel said.
The update comes after a proposed ordinance that would prohibit adult use marijuana sales in unincorporated areas of the county died with the County Board’s Committee of the Whole during their meeting Thursday, Sept. 12.
Gilmour said she voted against the measure Tuesday, Oct. 1, and in favor of the ordinance during the Thursday, Sept. 12, meeting because she’s been against the sale of recreational marijuana and having those types of businesses within the county from the beginning.
Gilmour had said during a Wednesday, Aug. 12, county Law, Justice and Legislation Committee meeting she was disgusted with Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker for signing the bill legalizing recreational cannabis use into law in June. She said the county doesn’t need to get additional revenue from those sales and she previously has voiced concerns about how young people might have easier access to the substance after it is legalized.
“And I haven’t changed my opinion on it,” Gilmour said after the Tuesday, Oct. 1, vote.
Koeppel said the earliest a shop could open within the county is May 1. He added that the earliest the county could collect taxes from those sales is Sept. 1.
The next steps for addressing the sales of recreational marijuana within the county include working out zoning regulations for retail cannabis dispensaries, groweries and infuseries within the county’s unincorporated areas.
Kendall County Board member Matt Prochaska, who also chairs the county’s Planning, Building and Zoning Committee, said the county’s regional planning commission has voted against zoning in B-3 Highway Business districts unless a proposed dispensary would be within 1,000 feet of an interstate highway. He said the county’s Zoning Board of Appeals approved those types of businesses within that type of district.
“And we still haven’t heard from our townships yet,” Prochaska said.
Prochaska’s comments come after township officials offered public comment about the proposed retail cannabis zoning regulations during a Tuesday, Sept. 10, combined county Regional Planning Commission and Planning, Building and Zoning committee meeting.
County officials said townships have until the week of Oct. 28 to submit comments for or against the zoning text amendments.
Prochaska said the Planning, Building and Zoning Committee will meet to further discuss zoning for retail cannabis in unincorporated parts of the county once the county hears from the townships.