7 U.S. Code § 6007 - Assessments

§ 6007.
Assessments
(a) In generalDuring the effective period of a plan issued pursuant to this chapter, assessments shall be—
(1)
levied on all pecans produced in, and all pecans imported into, the United States and marketed; and
(2)
deducted from the payment made to a grower for all pecans sold to a first handler.
(b) Limitation on assessments

No more than one assessment may be assessed under subsection (a) on a grower (as remitted by a first handler), grower-sheller, or importer, for any lot of pecans handled or imported.

(c) Remitting assessments
(1) In generalAssessments required under subsection (a) shall be remitted to the Board by—
(A)
a first handler; and
(B)
an importer.
(2) Times to remit assessment
(A) First handlers

Each first handler who is not a grower-sheller and who is required to remit an assessment under paragraph (1) shall remit such assessment to the Board no later than the last day of the month following the month that the pecans being assessed were purchased or marketed by such first handler.

(B) Grower-shellers

Each first handler who is a grower-sheller and who is required to remit an assessment under paragraph (1) shall remit such assessment to the Board, to the extent practicable, in payments of one-third of the total annual amount of such assessment due to the Board on January 31, March 31, and May 10, or such dates as may be recommended by the Board and approved by the Secretary, during the fiscal year that the pecans being assessed were harvested.

(C) Importers

Importers of pecans into the United States shall pay the assessment at the time the pecans enter the United States and shall remit such assessment to the Board.

(d) Assessment rate
(1) In generalExcept as provided in paragraph (2), assessment rates shall be recommended by the Board and approved by the Secretary, except that the maximum assessment shall not exceed—
(A)
during the period commencing on the effective date of the issuance of a plan and ending on the date the referendum is conducted under section 6011(a) of this title, one-half cent per pound for in-shell pecans as determined by the Board and approved by the Secretary; and
(B)
after such period, 2 cents per pound for in-shell pecans.
(2) Adjusting rate for shelled pecans

The rate of assessment of shelled pecans shall be twice the rate established for in-shell pecans pursuant to paragraph (1).

(3) Special State assessment
(A) In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, with the approval of the Secretary and if authorized by State law and requested by such State, a special assessment of one-quarter cent per pound for in-shell pecans, and an appropriate per-pound assessment for shelled pecans as adjusted under paragraph (2), shall be remitted to the Board for the purpose of utilizing such funds by a State pecan marketing board for research projects to promote pecans pursuant to State law.

(B) Collection and remittance

The Board shall collect such assessments and upon receipt of such assessments shall remit such assessments to the State, within a time period mutually agreed upon between the State and the Board, and approved by the Secretary. In the collection of such State assessments, neither the Board nor the Secretary shall in any manner enforce the collection or remittance of any such payment by producers of such State assessments or investigate nonpayment of such State assessments, except to provide to a State the names of growers from whom such assessments were collected and the respective amounts of assessments collected.

(C) Regulations

The Secretary is authorized to make such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

(e) Late-payment charge
(1) In general

There shall be a late-payment charge imposed on any person who fails to remit, on or before the due date established by the Board under subsection (c)(2), to the Board the total amount for which such person is liable.

(2) Amount of charge

The amount of the late-payment charge imposed under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by the Board with the approval of the Secretary.

(f) Refund of assessments from escrow account
(1) Establishment of escrow accountDuring the period beginning on the effective date of a plan first issued under section 6003 of this title and ending on the date the referendum is conducted under section 6011(a) of this title, the Board shall—
(A)
establish an escrow account to be used for assessment refunds; and
(B)
place funds in such account in accordance with paragraph (2).
(2) Placement of funds in account

The Board shall place in such account, from assessments collected during the period referred to in paragraph (1), an amount equal to the product obtained by multiplying the total amount of assessments collected during such period by 10 percent.

(3) Right to receive refundSubject to paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), any grower, grower-sheller, or importer shall have the right to demand and receive from the Board a one-time refund of assessments paid by or on behalf of such grower, grower-sheller, or importer during the period referred to in paragraph (1) if—
(A)
such grower, grower-sheller, or importer is required to pay such assessments;
(B)
such grower, grower-sheller, or importer does not support the program established under this chapter;
(C)
such grower, grower-sheller, or importer demands such refund prior to the conduct of the referendum under section 6011(a) of this title; and
(D)
the plan is not approved pursuant to the referendum conducted under section 6011(a) of this title.
(4) Form of demand

Such demand shall be made in accordance with regulations, on a form, and within a time period prescribed by the Board.

(5) Making of refund

Such refund shall be made on submission of proof satisfactory to the Board that such grower, grower-sheller, or importer paid the assessment for which refund is demanded.

(6) ProrationIf—
(A)
the amount in the escrow account required by paragraph (1) is not sufficient to refund the total amount of assessments demanded by eligible growers, grower-shellers, or importers; and
(B)
the plan is not approved pursuant to the referendum conducted under section 6011(a) of this title;
the Board shall prorate the amount of such refunds among all eligible growers, grower-shellers, and importers who demand such refund.
(7) Program approved

If the plan is approved pursuant to the referendum conducted under section 6011(a) of this title, all funds in the escrow account shall be returned to the Board for use by the Board in accordance with this chapter.

 

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