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)
As a second generation cannabis farmer born and raised in Covelo I want to loudly proclaim my support for this agenda item. It is high time the BoS support legacy farmers with a tax break. We have been paying through the nose for 6 years and have received little benefit for our overburden. To add insult to injury, we are paying late fees on the minimum taxes that were unilaterally imposed upon farmers. I'm sure you understand we are taxed in many other areas, not just at the County level. In the 6 years I've been in this system, I have faithfully paid two minimum tax payments for two 10k sf OD permits. Never once have I made enough sales to justify the $5k cost of these permits at the 2.5% of sales. While I feel 2.5% is a fair number to ask of people, it is the OR $5k that bothers me. Very few people achieve sales that would earn the County $5k at 2.5%. Additionally, if a person experiences a situation where they cannot pay the minimum on time then additional penalties are heaped on, as if penalizing people helps anyone in this situation. For the life of me, I cannot understand why the County isn't doing more to keep Legacy Farmers in the program? While I support the move to reduce, limit or totally remove the fines and fees for late payments, I also can't stress enough how important granting farmers who are still in business a smaller total tax bill in 2023 and 2024. Thank you. Rio
Thank you Supervisor Mulheren and Supervisor Haschak for bringing this to the table. I fully support this recommendation. By working with us to make this work, we all win.
I support the impactful tax reform items being brought by Supervisor Mulheren and recommended by both her and Supervisor Haschak of the General Government Committee. I fully support the implementation of the proposed Cannabis Business Tax Penalty and Interest Amnesty Program (Amnesty Program) for licensees who have fallen into arrears on payments.
I fully support the 50% reduction in Cannabis Business Tax for years 2023 and 2024.
Please support this important issue in the growing business of cannabis and help us be successful
Thank you to Supervisor Mulheren
and Supervisor Haschak of the General Government Committee. Thank you so much for listening and acting upon this important tax matter.
Swami and Nikki 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. Thank you so much for listening and acting upon this important tax matter.
We sincerely appreciate this item being brought forward by Supervisor Mulheren to address several significant challenges being faced by our existing provisionally-licensed operators, and the speed with which it has been worked out among the various county departments. Tax reform for operators in the cannabis program is essential at this critical time for several reasons: reprioritizing licensed operators in advance of critical state deadlines, making sure their permit and equity application reviews are underway, and creating a more stable environment in which our small businesses can weather the current market downturn while continuing to contribute to the overall health of the County.
We fully support the implementation of the proposed Cannabis Business Tax Penalty and Interest Amnesty Program (Amnesty Program) for licensees who have fallen into arrears on payments. We understand that the inclusion of Tax Year 2022 was evaluated and that it was unfortunately impossible to implement. We remain grateful for the Amnesty Program that has been developed and the meaningful impact it will have for many struggling farmers.
Similarly, we appreciate and fully support the 50% reduction in Cannabis Business Tax for years 2023 and 2024, understanding that as with the Amnesty Program, including Tax Year 2022 was not feasible.
A key component of this item is to provide a pathway back to permit processing for those who are currently deprioritized with the payment of 25% of their back-owed taxes by May 31, 2023. We recommend that any operator currently identified as ‘Deprioritized’ immediately be factored into MCD’s plans for application review. Due to rapidly approaching state deadlines, it is imperative that MCD be prepared to process applications of those that may participate in the Payment Plan. The implementation of this program should also make clear that participating applicants have full access to any and all active grant programs, including LEEP and LJAGP eligibility and funding.
We urge you to adopt all tax reform components as presented, and thank you for your consideration of our additional recommendation.
Mendocino Cannabis Alliance