Phoenix interim Mayor Thelda Williams attempted to pass a new, high tax on cannabis businesses in a sly move last week but the tax was quickly shot down by the city council, according to a report by the Phoenix New Times.
Phoenix City Council members were stunned and frustrated by how the tax proposal came from nowhere. The proposal was placed on the council agenda last Thursday with little explanation from the interim mayor.
Phoenix City Council has what is called the “eight-hour rule.” It limits how much time city staff can spend on a project that has not been approved by the council. Council members questioned the mayor and City Manager Ed Zuercher exhaustively to determine how much time was spent on the project and whether or not they were in violation of that rule.
Council members decided that the rule had indeed been violated and were frustrated with the mayor for attempting to stuff in the new medical cannabis tax, which would’ve taken another $43 million per year from patients and cultivators.
A cannabis industry representative said that any city passing such a steep new tax would simply drive cultivators to some other city in Arizona “smart enough to keep taxes down.”