7 CFR 989.81 - Accounting.
(a) If, at the end of the crop year, the assessments collected are in excess of expenses incurred, such excess shall be accounted for in accordance with one of the following:
(1) If such excess is not retained in a reserve, as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, it shall be refunded proportionately to the persons from whom collected in accordance with § 989.80; Provided, That any sum paid by a person in excess of his or her pro rata share of expenses during any crop year may be applied by the committee at the end of such crop year as credit for such person, toward the committee's administrative operations for the following crop year; Provided further, That the committee may credit the excess to any outstanding obligations due the committee from such person.
(2) The committee may carry over such excess funds into subsequent crop years as a reserve; Provided, That funds already in the reserve do not exceed one crop year's budgeted expenses as averaged over the past six years. In the event that funds exceed one crop year's expenses, funds in excess of one crop year's budgeted expenses shall be distributed in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section. Such funds may be used:
(i) To defray essential administrative expenses (i.e., staff wages/salaries and related benefits, office rent, utilities, postage, insurance, legal expenses, audit costs, consulting, Web site operation and maintenance, office supplies, repairs and maintenance, equipment leases, domestic staff travel and committee mileage reimbursement, international committee travel, international staff travel, bank charges, computer software and programming, costs of compliance activities, and other similar essential administrative expenses) exclusive of promotional expenses during any crop year, prior to the time assessment income is sufficient to cover such expenses;
(ii) To cover deficits incurred during any period when assessment income is less than expenses;
(iii) To defray expenses incurred during any period when any or all provisions of this part are suspended;
(v) To cover the necessary expenses of liquidation in the event of termination of this part. Upon such termination, any funds not required to defray the necessary expenses of liquidation shall be disposed of in such manner as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate; Provided, That to the extent practicable, such funds shall be returned pro rata to the persons from whom such funds were collected.
(b) The committee may, with the approval of the Secretary, maintain in its own name or in the name of its members, a suit against any handler for the collection of such handler's pro rata share of the expenses.