County assessor goes after AZ cannabis business’ unpaid taxes


Arizona’s largest county is going after grow operations and medical cannabis dispensaries which did not pay property taxes on their business equipment.

The county assessor’s office reported cannabis businesses evaded more than $1.5 million in property taxes each year by neglecting to report the value of equipment they use.

Eleven out of the 109 dispensaries and growth operations responded to the business personal property tax forms which were due by the April 1 deadline. They calculated a value for the 98 businesses which failed to respond and gave them a 10 percent penalty for failing to report their equipment value.

Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen responded to business owners and said he will pledge to work with them and encouraged them to come in and resolve the issue.

Kevin DeMenna, lobbyist for the Arizona Dispensaries Association, said the businesses are not willfully avoiding taxes, and the lack of response on the confusion comes with pioneering a new industry.

He said most dispensary and grow owners were unaware they owed taxes on business property.