7 U.S. Code § 7416 - Assessments
(a) Assessments authorized
While an order issued under this subchapter is in effect with respect to an agricultural commodity, assessments shall be—
(1) paid by first handlers with respect to the agricultural commodity produced and marketed in the United States; and
Assessments required under an order shall be remitted to the board established under the order at the time and in the manner prescribed by the order.
(c) Limitation on assessments
Not more than 1 assessment may be levied on a first handler or importer under subsection (a) of this section with respect to any agricultural commodity.
(d) Assessment rates
The board shall recommend to the Secretary 1 or more rates of assessment to be levied under subsection (a) of this section. If approved by the Secretary, the rates shall take effect. An order may provide that an assessment rate may not be increased unless approved by a referendum conducted pursuant to section 7417 of this title.
(e) Late-payment and interest charges
(1) In general
Late-payment and interest charges may be levied on each person subject to an order who fails to remit an assessment in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.
(f) Investment of assessments
Pending disbursement of assessments under a budget approved by the Secretary, a board may invest assessments collected under this section in—
(3) interest-bearing accounts or certificates of deposit of financial institutions that are members of the Federal Reserve System; or
(g) Refund of assessments from escrow account
(1) Escrow account
During the period beginning on the effective date of an order and ending on the date the Secretary announces the results of a referendum that is conducted under section 7417 (b)(1) of this title with respect to the order, the board established under the order shall—
(A) establish and maintain an escrow account of the kind described in subsection (f)(3) of this section to be used to refund assessments; and
(2) Amount to be deposited
The board shall deposit in the account an amount equal to 10 percent of the assessments collected during the period referred to in paragraph (1).
(3) Right to receive refund
Subject to paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), persons subject to an order shall be eligible to demand a refund of assessments collected during the period referred to in paragraph (1) if—
(4) Form of demand
The demand for a refund shall be made at such time and in such form as specified by the order.
(5) Payment of refund
A person entitled to a refund shall be paid promptly after the board receives satisfactory proof that the assessment for which the refund is demanded was paid on behalf of the person who makes the demand.
If the funds in the escrow account required by paragraph (1) are insufficient to pay the amount of all refunds that persons subject to an order otherwise would have a right to receive under this subsection, the board shall prorate the amount of the funds among all the persons.