No Humboldt County Cultivation Taxes Collected in 2019

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted to amend Measure S, the county’s cannabis cultivation tax. One specific amendment to the ordinance that stands out, is that it has switched its billing cycled from “in advance” to “in the arrears.” What this means for farmers is that payment for 2019 cultivation taxes, WILL NOT be billed until January 2020, and the first installment payment will be due on March 15, 2020.


“Cultivators will now be billed for excise taxes in arrears whereby the annual billing process will take place after the cultivation year versus during the cultivation year,” said John Bartholomew, County Treasurer-Tax Collector; “So the 2019 taxes owed will be due and payable in 2020; then 2020 taxes will be due and payable in 2021, etc. I believe this to be a prudent change to support the long term viability of the cannabis industry in Humboldt County”.


Specifically, the County Supervisors modified Measure S to:

  • Modify the billing cycle for bills to go out in January in two installments, due on March 15 and October 15;

  • Tax effective date begins for new or expanded project is when plants are on site;

  • Gives flexibility to Planning and Building Department to determine requests for pre-season reduction in square footage; and

  • Direct staff to come back to the Board of Supervisors with recommendations for how to create tax incentives for water storage, solar and clean renewable energy.


“The cannabis industry is struggling with over-taxation on the state level and yesterday’s vote provides relief and greater flexibility on the local level,” said Terra Carver of HCGA. “The goal is to create a sustainable revenue stream from Measure S, to benefit the entire county.”

"THIS IS A HUGE WIN FOR OUR INDUSTRY, and could not come at a better time," said Natalynne DeLapp of HCGA. "Since HCGA began, we have been working with the county to find workable solutions to increase flexibility with how Measure S is implemented. The supervisors have been listening to you. It is through your participation that we are able to help influence changes to policy." 


Policy recommendation March 2018

Policy recommendation September 2017


For Reference:

Payment in arrear is a payment made after a service has been provided, as distinct from in advance, which are payments made at the start of a period. For instance, rent is usually paid in advance, but mortgages in arrear. Employees' salaries are usually paid in arrear” (Wikipedia).

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The Humboldt County Growers Alliance is a California mutual benefit, not-for-profit, trade association that is funded and owned by, and for its members

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