Phoenix-area medical cannabis firms owe $1.5M in property taxes

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The vast majority of Phoenix-area medical marijuana businesses are delinquent in their property taxes – to the collective tune of $1.5 million, the county assessor claims.

Only 11 of the 109 MMJ companies in Maricopa County have paid their personal property tax bills, Assessor Paul Petersen told The Arizona Republic.

If the businesses wind up paying what Petersen estimates is due to the county, the total could be north of $1.5 million because the tax tab will include a 10% penalty.

The taxes owed, Petersen said, are based on the value of equipment used by cannabis companies, ranging from computers to grow lights, which again highlights the complex tax burden MJ companies often must navigate.

Petersen said his office plans to notify the 98 delinquent MMJ companies of their tax bill, and that they’ll have until Sept. 25 to settle up. For businesses that cooperate, Petersen said he may waive the penalty.

Arizona industry insider Demitri Downing told the newspaper there may be pushback from businesses that owe personal property taxes because under state law, medical marijuana providers are nonprofits.