1997 Regular Session
By: Representatives Shows, Ellzey
House Bill 1193
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A PROGRAM TO PROMOTE THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE RATITE INDUSTRY IN MISSISSIPPI; TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI RATITE COUNCIL AND PROMOTION BOARD; TO IMPOSE AN ASSESSMENT ON EACH RATITE SLAUGHTERED WITHIN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI; TO PROVIDE THAT THE FUNDS FROM THE ASSESSMENT MAY BE EXPENDED TO CONDUCT A PROGRAM OF RESEARCH, EDUCATION AND ADVERTISING DESIGNED TO PROMOTE THE RATITE INDUSTRY IN MISSISSIPPI; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The purpose of this act is to promote the growth and development of the ratite industry in Mississippi by advertisement and promotion of products, market development, research and producer education, thereby promoting the general welfare of the people of this state.
SECTION 2. (1) The Mississippi Ratite Council and Promotion Board is created to be composed of five (5) members as follows: Two (2) members elected by the Mississippi State Emu Association; two (2) members elected by the Mississippi Ostrich Association; and one (1) member appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce. Each member shall serve a term of one (1) year to coincide with the calendar year. Vacancies which occur shall be filled in the same manner as the original elections or appointments were made.
(2) The members of the board shall meet and organize immediately after their election or appointment and shall elect a chairman, vice chairman and secretary-treasurer from the membership of the board, whose duties shall be those customarily exercised by such officers or specifically designated by the board. The chairman, vice chairman and secretary-treasurer shall be bonded in an amount not less than Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00). The cost of the bonds shall be paid from the funds received under the provisions of Section 3 of this act. Such bond shall be a security for any illegal act of any member of the board and recovery thereon may be had by the state for any injury by such illegal act of such member. The board may establish rules and regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act for its own government and the administration of the affairs of the board.
SECTION 3. (1) There is imposed and levied an assessment not to exceed Eight Dollars ($8.00) per ratite slaughtered within the State of Mississippi. Such assessment shall be deducted by the processor from the amount paid the producer at the first point of processing or sale.
(2) The assessment imposed and levied by this section shall be payable to and collected by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, hereafter referred to as "the department," from the processor of such ratites at the first point of processing or sale. The proceeds of the assessment collected by the department shall be deposited monthly with the State Treasurer in a special fund to be established as the "Mississippi Ratite Promotion Fund," and disbursement therefrom shall be made upon warrants issued by the State Fiscal Officer upon requisitions signed by the Chairman and Secretary-Treasurer of the Mississippi Ratite Council and Promotion Board, or their designee, in the manner provided by law. The State Treasurer shall invest such proceeds and any interest earned thereon shall be credited to such special fund and shall not be deposited in the State General Fund.
(3) The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce shall submit to the Mississippi Ratite Council and Promotion Board a budget detailing and justifying the administrative costs of the department in administering the provisions of this chapter, and such budget must be approved by the Mississippi Ratite Council and Promotion Board by April 1 of each year. The amount withheld by the department, which shall not exceed three and one-half percent (3-1/2%) of the gross amount collected, must be approved by the Mississippi Ratite Council and Promotion Board by July 1 of each year.
SECTION 4. (1) Any processor who fails to file a report or to pay any assessment within the time required by the department shall forfeit to the department a penalty of five percent (5%) of the assessment determined to be due, plus one percent (1%) of such amount for each month of delay or fraction thereof after the first month after such report was required to be filed or such assessment became due. The penalty shall be paid to the department and shall be disposed of by it in the same manner as funds derived from the payment of the assessment imposed herein.
(2) The department shall collect the penalties levied herein, together with the delinquent assessment, by any or all of the following methods:
(a) By voluntary payment by the person liable.
(b) By legal proceedings instituted in a court of competent jurisdiction.
(3) Any person required to collect the assessment provided for in this act who fails to remit the assessment or who refuses to allow full inspection of the premises or such books, records or other documents relating to the liability of such person for the assessment herein imposed, or who shall hinder or in any delay or prevent such inspection, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or by imprisonment not to exceed one (1) year, or both.
SECTION 5. (1) The Mississippi Ratite Council and Promotion Board shall plan and conduct a program of research, education and advertising designed to promote the ratite industry in Mississippi. The board is authorized to use the funds derived from the assessment imposed herein for these purposes, including basic administration expenses of the plan. After paying administrative expenses, all remaining funds shall be expended on a pro rata basis of emus and ostriches processed or sold. Use of these funds may be applied, as prescribed in this section, within or without the State of Mississippi, including regional, national and international research and promotional applications.
(2) The funds may be expended only for the purposes set out in this act and shall be spent in no manner for political purposes. A report of all expenditures shall be made annually with three (3) copies of the report to be filed with each of the following: The Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Senate and the State Law Library.
SECTION 6. The State Tax Commission shall provide any information necessary to assist the Department of Agriculture and Commerce in collecting the assessments provided for in this act.
SECTION 7. (1) Sections 1 through 6 of House Bill No. 1193, 1997 Regular Session, shall stand repealed on July 1, 2000.
(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall be codified as a separate section in Title 69, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 8. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.