Naperville cancels meeting on whether to tax future pot sales

Updated 3/20/2020 9:03 PM

Naperville City Council has canceled a special meeting that would have been conducted Monday to discuss taxation on any future adult-use cannabis sales.

A majority of voters on Tuesday said yes to a question asked in an advisory referendum on whether they want the city to allow recreational cannabis sales. And while the decision was nonbinding, the city council could take it as a request to overturn a ban set in September and to establish zoning rules that would control sales in town.


Mayor Steve Chirico said the first step would be "holding a special meeting to preserve our right as a community to tax" adult-use cannabis sales.

A meeting originally was set for Monday evening. The timing would have allowed the city to meet an April 1 deadline to file an ordinance so taxes could begin to be collected July 1, the first date possible under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.

The city sent notice Friday afternoon of the meeting's cancellation, after Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued an order for Illinois residents to stay at home starting at 5 p.m. Saturday amid the spread of COVID-19.

The cancellation notice did not list a new date.

If the city misses the April 1 deadline from the Illinois Department of Revenue, the earliest a local tax on adult-use cannabis sales could begin to be collected is Jan. 1. That's if the city gets an ordinance on file by Oct. 1.

The city has proposed implementing a 3% tax rate, the maximum allowed under state law. Setting the tax itself would be a preliminary step.

"This action does not permit the sale of adult-use cannabis within Naperville. It only reserves the city's ability to tax such sales if the city later decides to allow them," Finance Director Rachel Mayer said in a memo. "To allow adult-use cannabis sales, the city council needs to approve allowable zoning with consideration and approval by both the planning and zoning commission and the city council in the future."

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