Publishing & Periodical Distribution

You owe tax on publishing if:
You are in the business of publishing newspapers, magazines, or other periodicals in the City. It also includes distributing and delivering publications in the City which are published elsewhere. The printing and sale of books is taxable under the "job printing" and "retail" categories of the tax code, not publishing.

Tax rate on publishing
The tax rate on publishing is 1.75% of taxable income.  (Note: The Mesa City Tax rate increased to 1.75% effective 07/01/2006)

Collection of tax
You may choose to charge the tax separately on each sale, or include transaction privilege tax in your price. If you over charge any tax to your customers, you must remit the excess tax to the city.
If your price includes transaction privilege tax, you can compute how much of the total price is transaction privilege tax. You may deduct the total city, state, and county transaction privilege taxes from your gross receipts.

What is publishing income?
The gross income from subscriptions, notices, and local advertising as defined above is taxable. The portion of the income which a carrier or vendor keeps as payment for delivery is not taxable. Also you may deduct sales of publications to retailers who are buying them for resale. The income from publishing is allocated to the cities based on circulation as described below.

Allocating the income from publishing
If your publication is distributed in more than one city, the income is allocated to each city in which your publication is distributed for purposes of reporting the taxable income. This allocation is based on the percentage of the circulation within each of these cities.

After computing this allocation, there is often a portion of the income which has not been allocated to a city for tax purposes. This occurs because some cities may not tax publishing or because part of the circulation occurred in unincorporated areas. This remaining portion should be reported to the city of your location of publication.

For purposes of computing the allocations, publications distributed through the U.S. mails should be treated as being distributed at your location of publication. Your location of publication is the location of either your editorial offices or your printing facilities.


Office Locations:
Licensing Office
55 N. Center St.
Mesa, AZ  85201
Phone: 480-644-2316
FAX: 480-644-3999

Tax Audit & Collections
20 E. Main St, Suite 450
Mesa, AZ 85201
Phone: 480-644-3816
FAX: 480-644-2687

Office Hours:

Monday - Thursday
7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Closed Fridays

Mailing Address:
Tax & Licensing Office
P.O. Box 1466
Mesa, Arizona 85211-1466


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