DFA responds to request to disclose tax info for medical marijuana cultivation applicants

Arkansas' Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) has responded to Rep. Scott Baltz's letter regarding whether or not the top 10 medical marijuana cultivation applicants were in compliance with tax requirements. (MGN Photo)

Arkansas' Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) says it can only share whether or not the top 10 medical marijuana cultivation applicants met the tax requirements under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission's rules and regulations.

Rep. Scott Baltz (D-District 61) sent a letter to the DFA on March 9, saying, "It has come to my attention that several of the top 10, including the top five, medical marijuana cultivator license applications are rumored to not be in compliance with the requirements of Sections IV.4.a.vii and IV.4.b.iii.7."

Baltz asked the DFA to address all individual income, sales, corporate income, property, employee withholding and/or corporate franchise taxes concerning the applicants and the owners, board members and officers of the entities represented by the applicants. He continued that if the applicants weren't compliant with the rules, it would be cause for disqualification and/or revocation of the license.

In the commission's rules and regulations, Section IV.4.a.vii states, "Has no outstanding tax delinquencies owed to the State of Arkansas."

Section IV.4.b.iii.7 states, "The entity has no owner, board member, or officer that owes delinquent taxes to the State of Arkansas."

Walter Anger, the commissioner of revenue with the DFA, wrote to Rep. Baltz saying the department denied the request for anything more than a report regarding whether the top 10 cultivation applications met the requirements for licensure.

Anger wrote "confidential tax records include not only tax returns required to be filed with the Department of Finance and Administration but also any records that are derived from information on those returns. Additionally, as you note, this request is based on people or entities ' rumored to not be in compliance.'" He also said certain information is protected from being disclosed under the Arkansas Tax Procedure Act.

In a telephone interview with our content partner, KFSM, on Saturday, Baltz said none of the groups that were awarded a cultivation license are in his district, which includes portions of Baxter, Sharp, Randolph and Fulton counties. Instead, he says he wants to "make sure their taxes are right and we are doing our due diligence."

Baltz had asked the DFA to provide the information to the commission ahead of its March 14 meeting.

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