Monterey County officials cut cannabis taxes again

Monterey County officials cut cannabis taxes again
CANNANNEW REPORT

The Monterey Herald….   SALINAS — Monterey County elected officials on Wednesday again cut taxes on cannabis growers while trying to walk a fine line between helping a struggling industry without hurting county revenues during a time of budget deficits. A glut in production is tanking the price for commercial cannabis in Monterey County and the rest of California, prompting local growers to ask elected officials to modify the way it taxes crops. The industry has been lucrative for both growers and the county. Last year’s cultivation tax revenue for the county was estimated at just a little more than $19 million. Total production and value for cannabis cultivation during 2020 was calculated at $484.1 million, according to the 2020 Monterey County Ag Report, an increase of $34.4 million from 2019. But things are changing. Some growers have had to cut production by 50% because of the huge number of wholesale cannabis operations in the state. With that increasing supply and stable demand, there is pressure on prices for local growers. County business tax levied on cannabis crops is based on the square footage of production space. Different tax rates apply to different types of production — mixed-light, nursery and indoor. The Board of Supervisors Wednesday opted to reduce mixed-light (artificial and natural) to $2 per square foot and reduce indoor cultivation tax to $3 per square foot. Mixed light had been $3 per square foot and indoor tax had been $7 per square foot. Both taxes had already been lowered earlier this year. The effective date of the new cannabis tax structure is July 1. Supervisors considered another tax reduction option that would have lowered rates even further. Supervisor Mary Adams championed that option, called Option 3, based on her concern that if the taxes aren’t lowered enough then…

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