While Prop 64 did many things well, it also includes a deeply flawed tax program. This tax was clearly not written by farmers, nor by the legislature.
Whats the problem?
The tax is imposed on harvest. Harvest is not a good time to pay taxes; growers are busy with drying, trimming, sorting, grading, aggregating, and packaging. Each of these tasks takes time and money.
Replacing the harvest tax with a distribution tax solves these problems in a streamlined way.
Another big tax is the leaf tax. This should be replaced with a product tax. However, this will be even more difficult.
Can we fix it?
Maybe. This is a big lift. It will likely require a two thirds majority in the legislature. It may require a statewide vote. We are actively exploring pathways for a solution. We have made this our highest priority for 2017.
You can help.
While we work with stakeholders in Sacramento to explore solutions it is critical that we have support from up and down the state. This is a priority issue for everyone in California and the lawmakers must hear that loud and clear.
I support efforts to replace the harvest tax.