MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2005 Regular Session

To: Agriculture

By: Representative Warren

House Bill 242

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 69-10-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXTEND THE REPEALER ON THE ASSESSMENT LEVIED ON ALL RICE GROWN WITHIN THE STATE FOR DEPOSIT IN THE MISSISSIPPI RICE PROMOTION FUND; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. Section 69-10-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

69-10-5. (1) There is imposed and levied an assessment at the rate of Two Cents (2) per bushel on all rice grown within the State of Mississippi; from and after July 1, 1991, the rate of assessment shall be increased by an additional One Cent (1) per bushel so that the total assessment equals Three Cents (3) per bushel. Such assessment shall be deducted by the purchaser from the amount paid the producer at the first point of sale, whether within or without the state. Assessments on rice put under loan to the Commodity Credit Corporation or purchased by the Commodity Credit Corporation and delivered to it shall be payable when such rice is placed under loan or is purchased. The Commodity Credit Corporation may require deduction and payment of the assessment from the loan proceeds or from the purchase price on the behalf of the producer. Assessments on rice put under loan to the Commodity Credit Corporation and redeemed by the producer before the takeover date, if already paid by having been deducted from the loan proceeds shall not be deducted by each miller or handler from the amount paid the producer at the first point of sale as provided in this section; otherwise, the assessment shall be deducted.

(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 purchaser of such rice at the first point of sale or from the Commodity Credit Corporation as provided in subsection (1) of this section. 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 Rice 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 Rice 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 Rice 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 Rice Promotion Board by April 1 of each year. The department shall monthly pay over to the Mississippi Rice Promotion Fund the funds collected, less an amount not to exceed three and one-half percent (3-1/2%) of the gross amount collected. The amount withheld by the department must be approved by the Mississippi Rice Promotion Board by July 1 of each year. The monthly settlement to the Mississippi Rice Promotion Board shall be made on or before the twentieth day of each month and shall be accompanied by a complete report of all funds collected and disbursed.

(4) Each purchaser or the Commodity Credit Corporation shall keep a complete and accurate record of all rice handled by him and shall furnish each producer with a signed sales slip showing the number of bushels purchased from him and the amount deducted by him for the Mississippi Rice Promotion Fund. Such records shall be in such form and contain such other information as the department shall by rule or regulation prescribe. The records shall be preserved by the purchaser for a period of two (2) years and shall be offered for inspection at any time upon oral or written demand by the department or any duly authorized agent or representative thereof. Every purchaser or the Commodity Credit Corporation, at such time or times as the commissioner of the department may require, shall submit reports or other documentary information deemed necessary for the efficient and equitable collection of the assessment imposed in this chapter. The department shall have the power to cause any duly authorized agent or representative to enter upon the premises of any purchaser of rice and examine or cause to be examined by such agent, only books, papers and records which deal in any way with respect to the payment of the assessment or enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.

(5) This section shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2007.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.