When the March 17 primary election arrives, citizens of Greenville will see two referendums on the ballot.
Bond County Clerk Meg Sybert said the official papers for the referendums have been filed with her office by the City of Greenville. She said no other local referendums will be on the primary ballot.
The City of Greenville is seeking an increase in a sales tax, originally approved by voters in 2004. The other referendum is an advisory vote regarding recreational cannabis. By state law, recreational cannabis use becomes legal on January 1.
Since 2004, the city has used a half-cent sales tax for street and other improvements. The referendum seeks to increase the sales tax from a half-cent to one cent per dollar.
City Manager Dave Willey indicated an increase would provide more funds to continue road network improvements with asphalt streets.
A simple majority is necessary for the increase to pass. The half cent tax currently beings in an estimated $325,000 per year.
The cannabis advisory referendum will give the city council public opinion regarding cannabis dispensaries and other cannabis related businesses.
Council members decided at their December meeting to take no action and wait for the referendum results. Ballots will contain two questions regarding the issue.
One is, “Shall the City of Greenville allow cannabis dispensaries within the city limits?”
The other is “Shall the City of Greenville allow cannabis facilities including cannabis cultivation centers, cannabis craft growers, cannabis infusers, cannabis processors and cannabis transporter organizations?”
The referendum is non-binding, meaning the council is not mandated to follow the results of the referendum.