AGRICULTURE AND HORTICULTURE
HOPS — PROMOTION OF INDUSTRY
22-3107. Hop assessment levy. (1) There is hereby levied an initial assessment of twenty (20) cents per bale on each bale of hops handled in the primary channels of trade.
(2) In addition to such initial assessment, there is hereby levied an additional assessment of not exceeding four dollars and eighty cents ($4.80) per bale on each bale of hops handled in the primary channels of trade. The amount of such additional assessment, if any, shall be determined by resolution of the commission after February first but before July first of each year and shall be submitted to the growers by referendum. The term "production" for the purposes of this subsection means the number of pounds of hops produced by a grower during the calendar year immediately next preceding each annual registration of growers as herein provided. Each grower, whether an individual, a partnership, a corporation, an association or other business unit, shall have one (1) vote at such referendum. No grower shall vote at any such referendum during any year unless such grower has, after January first but prior to January fifteenth of such year, registered with the commission on forms to be supplied by the commission giving such grower’s name, mailing address and production, except that for the calendar year in which this subsection takes effect, the period for the registration of growers shall be the fifteen (15) days immediately succeeding the effective date of this subsection. The qualifications of any grower to vote or the amount of such grower’s production as shown by such grower’s registration may be challenged by any other grower qualified to vote or any member of the commission. All such challenges shall be presented to the commission in writing within ten (10) days after the close of registration and shall be heard and determined by the commission prior to canvassing the returns of any such referendum. After the adoption of a resolution by the commission fixing the amount of the additional assessment to be submitted to a referendum of the growers, the commission shall cause to be mailed by United States registered mail to each grower so registered, at the address appearing on such grower’s registration, a ballot setting forth the name of such grower, the grower’s production, a copy of the resolution so adopted, and the words, "For additional assessment as provided in the foregoing resolution" followed by a circle and the words "Against the additional assessment as provided in the foregoing resolution" followed by a circle and such ballot shall provide a space at the bottom thereof for the grower’s signature. A grower desiring to vote upon the amount of the additional assessment shall mark the ballot received to express the grower’s vote, shall sign the ballot and shall return the ballot to the commission within twenty (20) days after the date on which the ballot was mailed to the grower by the commission. Any ballot which is not returned within such time limit, or which is not voted, or which is not signed, or which is marked both for and against the question submitted, shall be deemed not to have been voted and shall not be counted for any purpose. The commission shall meet and canvass all ballots cast at any such referendum within ten (10) days after the date by which all ballots are herein required to be returned to the commission. Upon the canvass, if the commission finds that two-thirds (2/3) or more of the growers voting at such referendum have voted in favor of the amount of such additional assessment and that growers representing two-thirds (2/3) or more of the production of all growers voting at such referendum have voted in favor of the amount of such additional assessment, then the amount of such additional assessment shall have been approved, but if the commission finds otherwise, then the amount of such additional assessment shall have failed. The commission shall record the results of each canvass in its official records and shall retain all election records, grower registrations and ballots for one (1) year after the date of such canvass when it may cause the same to be destroyed. If the canvass shows that the amount of such additional assessment shall have been approved, the commission shall immediately adopt a resolution levying the amount thereof. Such additional assessment when so levied shall apply only to the bales of hops grown during the calendar year in which the referendum approving the same was held, but shall so apply regardless of the calendar year in which such bales of hops are first handled in the primary channels of trade. If the canvass shows that the amount of such additional assessment shall have failed, the commission shall not levy the amount thereof, but the commission may re-submit the same or another amount for such additional assessment to the growers by referendum as herein provided as often as the commission deems necessary.
(3) All assessments levied under this act shall be due on or before the time when such hops are first handled in the primary channels of trade and shall be paid at such time or times as the commission may by rule or regulation prescribe, but not later than the last day of the month next succeeding the month in which such hops were first handled in the primary channels of trade.
(4) The assessment constitutes a lien prior to all other liens and encumbrances upon such hops except liens which are declared prior by operation of a statute of this state.
(5) The commission by order may cancel an assessment which has been delinquent for five (5) years or more, if it determines that:
(a) The amount of the assessment is less than one dollar ($1.00), and that further collection effort or expense does not justify the collection thereof, or
(b) The assessment is wholly uncollectible.
[22-3107, added 1955, ch. 224, sec. 7, p. 489; am. 1957, ch. 12, sec. 1, p. 14; am. 1967, ch. 216, sec. 3, p. 650; am. 1992, ch. 40, sec. 1, p. 138.]