Meeting Time: March 14, 2023 at 9:00am PDT

Agenda Item

4g) Discussion and Possible Action Including Introduction and Waive First Reading of an Ordinance Amending Sections 6.32.050 and 6.32.100 of the Mendocino County Code to Provide, for Cannabis Cultivation and Nursery Operations, a Reduction in the Cannabis Business Tax for Tax Years 2023 and 2024 and to Establish a Penalty and Interest Amnesty Program and a Prior Year Tax Payment Plan (Sponsor: Supervisor Mulheren)

   Oppose     Neutral     Support    
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    Mario DeJuan 12 months ago

    I fully support the tax reform items being brought by Supervisor Mulheren and recommended by both Supervisor Mulheren and Supervisor Haschak of the General Government Committee:
    1. Amnesty Program for tax penalties and interest still owed;
    2. Payment plan for those who have been Deprioritized due to late tax payments; and
    3. 50% reduction in the Minimum Cannabis Tax for tax years 2023 and 2024).

    
In addition, I support the MCA memo with a recommendation to confirm that upon entering the payment plan that any currently Deprioritized operator would immediately be eligible for LEEP or LJAGP eligibility and funding.

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    Ben Holter 12 months ago

    I support lowering taxes cannabis growers have to pay especially when the market is down. As a cannabis grower, if I have more money from paying less taxes I would invest that money into the business to improve the business which could generate more tax revenue in the long run.

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    Teresa Sischo 12 months ago

    Dear Supervisors,
    I fully support the impactful tax reform items being brought by Supervisor Mulheren and recommended by both her and Supervisor Haschak of the General Government Committee:

    an Amnesty Program for tax penalties and interest still owed,
    a payment plan for those who have been Deprioritized due to late tax payments,
    and a 50% reduction in the Minimum Cannabis Tax for tax years 2023 and 2024)

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    Sara ODonnell 12 months ago

    Dear Supervisors:

    This thoughtful agenda item signifies a hand up, not a hand out.

    I fully support the tax reform items being brought by Supervisor Mulheren and recommended by both Supervisor Mulheren and Supervisor Haschak of the General Government Committee: 
    1. Amnesty Program for tax penalties and interest still owed;
    2. Payment plan for those who have been Deprioritized due to late tax payments; and 
    3. 50% reduction in the Minimum Cannabis Tax for tax years 2023 and 2024).

    
In addition, I support the MCA memo with a recommendation to confirm that upon entering the payment plan that any currently Deprioritized operator would immediately be eligible for LEEP or LJAGP eligibility and funding.

    Sincerely,
    Sara O'Donnell
    District 5

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    Jennifer Procacci 12 months ago

    I am commenting in the strongest support of the tax reform items being brought forth by Supervisor Mulheren and recommended by both her and Supervisor Haschak, including-

    1. Amnesty Program for tax penalties and interest still owed;
    2. Payment plan for those who have been Deprioritized due to late tax payments; and
    3. 50% reduction in the Minimum Cannabis Tax for tax years 2023 and 2024).

    I also strongly support the MCA memo, including the recommendation to confirm that upon entering the payment plan that any currently Deprioritized operator would immediately be eligible for LEEP or LJAGP eligibility and funding.

    Both of these steps will provide crucial relief to small cannabis farmers at this critical time. Please help us continue to live and work in Mendocino county!

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    Nicholas Smilgys 12 months ago

    I would like to ask the board to support the recommendations of Supervisors Mulhern and Haschack on this tax reform item.

    Tax reform is an important step toward securing the future of cannabis in Mendocino county.

    For further refinement of this item, please look toward MCA’s memo with specific recommendations.

    Thanks

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    Mark Thies 12 months ago

    I fully support the tax reform items being brought by Supervisor Mulheren and recommended by both her and Supervisor Haschak of the General Government Committee. Thank you.

    1.) An Amnesty Program for tax penalties and interest still owed,
    2.) A payment plan for those who have been Deprioritized due to late tax payments,
    3.) And a 50% reduction in the Minimum Cannabis Tax for tax years 2023 and 2024)

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    Hannah Nelson 12 months ago

    Please see attached comment letter

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    Tamara Kislak 12 months ago

    I support cannabis tax reform as a pro-bussines action to help lessen the decline of the Mendocino county economy and bolster small businesses that are the backbone of our community.

    Thank you Supervisor Mulheren for bringing this issue 4g to the board and for the support of Supervisor Haschak.

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    Daniel Oneill 12 months ago

    I fully support the tax reform items being brought by Supervisor Mulheren and recommended by both her and Supervisor Haschak of the General Government Committee.

    1.) An Amnesty Program for tax penalties and interest still owed,
    2.) A payment plan for those who have been Deprioritized due to late tax payments,
    3.) And a 50% reduction in the Minimum Cannabis Tax for tax years 2023 and 2024)

    Thank you, Daniel

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    Mark Shaffer 12 months ago

    Dear Supervisors,

    I'm writing in appreciation and support for the tax reform agenda item that is sponsored by Supervisor Mulheren. I would also like to thank both her and Supervisor Haschak of the General Government Committee for their efforts to listen to the cannabis community members that have given input on the burden of keeping their businesses open.

    Please consider the recommendations in the memo submitted by the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance (MCA), so we can help these stakeholders move forward.

    Thank you,

    Mark Shaffer
    Comptche - District 5

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    Chiah Rodriques 12 months ago

    Dear honorable Supervisors. My husband and I fully support the tax reform items being brought by Supervisor Mulheren and recommended by both her and Supervisor Haschak of the General Government Committee:
    1. Amnesty Program for tax penalties and interest still owed;
    2. Payment plan for those who have been Deprioritized due to late tax payments; and
    3. 50% reduction in the Minimum Cannabis Tax for tax years 2023 and 2024).

    We also support the MCA memo with a recommendation to confirm that upon entering the payment plan that any currently Deprioritized operator would immediately be eligible for LEEP or LJAGP eligibility and funding.

    We are very grateful for the LEEP grant option to utilize that money to pay our taxes with equity eligibility of course, but we see our friends and neighbors and other businesses who did not get equity eligibility, who are majorly struggling. This tax reform will be helpful and probably life saving for those folks. If we were in the need for tax relief or an amnesty when the LEEP grant money runs out int he future, we would be very grateful for tax relief. Every bit helps.

    Thank you for your time.

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    Josh Artman 12 months ago

    I fully support the tax reform items being brought by Supervisor Mulheren and recommended by both her and Supervisor Haschak of the General Government Committee. Thank you.

    1.) An Amnesty Program for tax penalties and interest still owed,
    2.) A payment plan for those who have been Deprioritized due to late tax payments,
    3.) And a 50% reduction in the Minimum Cannabis Tax for tax years 2023 and 2024)

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    Jo Galbreath 12 months ago

    The BOS has requested changes to funds granted for farmers. The weather and per pound price for cannabis has affected any revenue the county is expecting from growers. I'm in favor of the tax reform!!

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    Julie Harris 12 months ago

    I support Supervisor Mulhern and Supervisor Haschack tax reform proposal and thank them for the proposal. When Cannabis became legal everyone has big $$$$$ but the reality is that this agricultural business is not bringing in the dollars that were expected or received during the first 2 years of operation. I think this brings an issue of being over taxed at this time. It is becoming more and more difficult to make a living wage especially while paying all bills that come with the regulation of this industry. Thank you for reducing the tax by 50% . It is my hope that in 2 years the industry will turn around and farmers will once again get a fair price for their product. Please vote yes.

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    Jeremy Pope 12 months ago

    I fully support the tax reform items being brought by Supervisor Mulheren and Supervisor Haschak. This tax reform will help the brave legacy operators that have signed up and been working diligently to navigate the complex endeavor of regulated cannabis cultivation to remain in business which will allow them the opportunity to continue to provide tax dollars to this county for years to come.

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    Todd Cass 12 months ago

    I support Item 4g, Cannabis Tax Reform. The comments
    of Supervisor Williams on item 4g sound to me too narrowly focused and
    certainly tone deaf. Mendocino cultivators need all the help the
    county can give to shoulder the onerous and years-long financial
    burden assumed just by seeking county and state permits to plant,
    grow, and harvest a simple crop. Five-plus years into the application and
    no end in sight, with people selling their homesteads right and left,
    I can think of a much more appropriate use of the
    county's cannabis-related tax than potholes.

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    Al Stein 12 months ago

    Property owners, hospitals, and businesses in general get no "amnesty" for skipping out on paying taxes. If they don't pay, the county can foreclose on their property.

    Yet two supervisor propose a special tax break for the county's purveyors of intoxication, those pot growers who have run their businesses so badly that they cannot afford to pay their public tax--- after the mandatory holiday expenses in Hawaii of course.

    There is a solution for businesses who do not pay taxes. It is called bankruptcy. If these pot growers claim they cannot pay taxers owed--- they owe the county 4 million bucks according to the Ordinance Summary-- they should file for bankruptcy.

    It is insulting in the extreme for hard working businesses to pay taxes regardless of business conditions while these pot growers by terms of the ordinance dodged their back taxes for five years dating back to 2018. By the way, where was the outrage for five years?

    The Supervisors who sponsored this outrageous give away to pot growers should withdraw this ordinance at this meeting. Everyone who has heard about this boondoggle is dumbfounded that the pot growers are such a powerful interest group they can get laws passed to avoid paying taxes.

    Legitimate businesses pay taxes. Voters five years ago were sold a bill of goods that pot growers would pay taxes. Many of those who voted to legalize are ready to change their votes.

    No extension of time to pay taxes will results in taxes paid in three years. Why?

    Everyone knows new supplies of pot is flooding the market. Low prices today are going to drop even further in three years. There is no way that poorly run pot businesses are going to pay taxes in the future. Let's be clear.

    In disguise, this ordinance is really a forgiveness of back taxes due.

    The Board of Supervisors would be shafting all tax paying businesses in the county by passing this ordinance.

    There are more dimensions to this bill. Pot is an entry drug for too many lost souls. Too many young people smoke pot then go onto speed or heroin. Too many prisoners got their start on pot. Too many homeless people began their journey on pot. To promote pot businesses in my opinion is to expand public expenditures for all those poor souls who loose their way after smoking weed.

    It is an outrage that this item even appears on the agenda today.

    I hope there are three supervisors who will vote against this ordinance.

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    Lynn Zachreson 12 months ago

    I fully support the impactful tax reform items being brought by Supervisor Mulheren and recommended by both her and Supervisor Haschak of the General Government Committee:

    an Amnesty Program for tax penalties and interest still owed,
    a payment plan for those who have been Deprioritized due to late tax payments,
    and a 50% reduction in the Minimum Cannabis Tax for tax years 2023 and 2024)

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    Courtney Bailey 12 months ago

    Dear Supervisors:

    I fully support the tax reform items being brought by Supervisor Mulheren and recommended by both her and Supervisor Haschak of the General Government Committee: 
    1. Amnesty Program for tax penalties and interest still owed;
    2. Payment plan for those who have been Deprioritized due to late tax payments; and 
    3. 50% reduction in the Minimum Cannabis Tax for tax years 2023 and 2024).

    
In addition, I support the MCA memo with a recommendation to confirm that upon entering the payment plan that any currently Deprioritized operator would immediately be eligible for LEEP or LJAGP eligibility and funding.

    Sincerely,

    Courtney Bailey 

    District 5