Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
Chapter 18. Potato Board
8/17/2022

Article 2. Potato Referenda and Fund.

§ 3.2-1805. Referenda.

Upon a petition, or its own motion, or that of an interested person properly made, the Board may hold a referendum on the continuance of the tax. If a petition is not presented to the Board or the Board is not otherwise advised, the tax to support additional research and promotion of potatoes shall continue to be levied and collected as provided for in this article. The cost of conducting any referendum as prescribed in this article shall be paid from funds paid into the Virginia Potato Fund. The Board shall adopt regulations governing the conduct of referenda pursuant to § 3.2-112.

1982, c. 126, § 3.1-684.30; 2008, c. 860; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 3.2-1806. Management of referenda; Commissioner's duties; notice.

A. The Commissioner shall arrange for and manage any referendum conducted pursuant to this article.

B. The Commissioner shall, at least 60 days before the referendum is to be held, mail notice to the clerk of the circuit court in each locality where producers are located.

The clerk of the circuit court shall post the notice and the regulations on the front door or public bulletin board of the courthouse and certify the posting to the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall give notice of the referendum in a newspaper of general circulation in Richmond, Virginia, and shall send a notice of the referendum to a newspaper of general circulation in each locality where producers are located at least 60 days prior to the holding of any referendum pursuant to the provisions of this article. The notice shall contain the date, hours, voting places, and method of voting in the referendum, the amount of tax to be collected, the means by which the tax shall be collected, the general purposes for how the taxes will be used, and the regulations adopted by the Board hereunder.

C. The Commissioner, with the assistance of the petitioners, shall prepare and distribute in advance of the referendum all necessary ballots and supplies required for the referendum and shall under regulations adopted by the Board and with the assistance of the petitioners and the Extension Service arrange for the necessary polling places.

D. The Commissioner shall, within 10 days after the referendum, canvass and publicly declare the results thereof and certify the same to the Governor and the Board.

1982, c. 126, §§ 3.1-684.23, 3.1-684.26, 3.1-684.27; 2008, c. 860; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 3.2-1807. Question to be printed on ballots.

The question to be printed on the ballots used in a referendum pursuant to this article shall be as follows:

"Do you favor additional research, education, publicity, advertising, and other promotion of potatoes and the continuation of the levy of two cents ($0.02) per 100 pounds in accordance with the provisions of the Board law to support the same?

_____ Yes

_____ No."

1982, c. 126, § 3.1-684.31; 2008, c. 860; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 3.2-1808. Persons eligible to vote.

Each producer in the Commonwealth who produced 40,000 pounds of potatoes during the year next preceding the date of the referendum held pursuant to this article shall be eligible to vote in the referendum if he certifies to the required production. The certification shall be on forms approved by the Board. Any person meeting these requirements shall be eligible to vote in the referendum, but no person shall be required to be a qualified voter in any other respect. Any person who is not an individual shall vote by its authorized representative.

1982, c. 126, § 3.1-684.24; 2008, c. 860; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 3.2-1809. Referenda results; action of Governor.

The Governor shall examine all matters relating to the referendum and whether a majority of the producers voting expressed a desire for additional research, education, publicity, advertising, and other means of promotion and continuing the levying of the tax to support them. If the Governor finds the referendum in order and that a majority of those voting are in opposition to the continuation of the levying of the tax on potatoes, he shall so proclaim and upon such proclamation the tax on potatoes shall be discontinued. If the Governor finds that a majority of those voting are in favor of the continuation of the tax on potatoes, the Governor shall not so proclaim.

1982, c. 126, § 3.1-684.28; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-1810. Virginia Potato Fund established.

There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Virginia Potato Fund, hereafter referred to as "the Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller.

All moneys levied and collected pursuant to this article shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes set forth in this chapter.

Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the Board on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the duly authorized officer of the Board.

The Auditor of Public Accounts shall audit all the accounts of the Board as is provided for in § 30-133.

1982, c. 126, §§ 3.1-684.36, 3.1-684.37; 2008, c. 860; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 3.2-1811. Collection and disposition of tax by handler; reports.

A. Every handler who purchases from a producer shall deduct, from payments made to the producer for any potatoes, a tax of two cents ($0.02) per 100 pounds of potatoes and shall remit the tax to the Commissioner on or before the 20th day of each month. The tax shall be paid to the Commissioner and shall be promptly paid into the state treasury to the credit of the Virginia Potato Fund.

B. Every handler shall complete a report consisting of a statement of the gross volume of potatoes on which the tax was levied that were packed, processed, or handled by the handler and shall file such report with the Commissioner together with the tax submitted pursuant to subsection A. The tax levied on potatoes shall be due by the handler on the same day that the report is due.

1982, c. 126, § 3.1-684.33; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-1812. Collection of delinquent tax; civil action.

The tax imposed under the provisions of this article and unpaid on the date when due shall bear interest at a rate determined in accordance with § 58.1-1812, from and after the due date until paid. If any person defaults in any payment of the tax or interest thereon, the amount shall be collected by a civil action in the name of the Commonwealth at the relation of the Board and the person adjudged in default shall pay the costs of the proceeding. The Attorney General, at the request of the Commissioner, shall institute an appropriate action for the collection of the amount of any tax past due under this article, including interest thereon.

1982, c. 126, § 3.1-684.35; 2008, c. 860; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 3.2-1813. Records to be kept by handlers.

Every handler shall keep a complete record of the potatoes subject to the provisions of this article that have been packed, processed, or handled by him for a period of time not less than three years from the time the potatoes were packed, processed, or handled. The records shall be open to the inspection of the Commissioner and shall be established and maintained as required by the Commissioner.

1982, c. 126, § 3.1-684.34; 2008, c. 860; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 3.2-1814. Falsification of records; misdemeanor.

It is a Class 1 misdemeanor:

1. For any handler knowingly to report falsely to the Commissioner the quantity of potatoes processed or handled by him.

2. For any handler to fail to keep a complete record of the potatoes processed or handled by him.

3. For any handler to preserve the records for a period of time less than three years from the time such potatoes are processed or handled.

1982, c. 126, § 3.1-684.38; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-1815. Licenses.

The Commissioner shall revoke the produce dealer or commission merchant license of any handler who fails to report, pay the tax, or perform any other duty required of him pursuant to the provisions of this article.

1982, c. 126, § 3.1-684.40; 2008, c. 860; 2012, cc. 803, 835.