WSR 03-07-091

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed March 19, 2003, 8:41 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-23-094.

Title of Rule: WAC 16-401-021 Schedule of fees and charges -- Facility inspection -- Effective July 1, 1999, 16-401-023 Schedule of fees and charges -- Establishing hourly rates, 16-401-026 Schedule of fees and charges -- Applicable rates and charges -- Effective June 30, 2001, 16-401-027 Schedule of fees and charges -- Applicable rates and charges -- Effective July 1, 2001, 16-401-031 Schedule of fees and charges -- Miscellaneous charges -- Effective June 30, 2001, 16-401-032 Schedule of fees and charges -- Miscellaneous charges -- Effective July 1, 2001, and 16-401-041 Nursery dealer license fees.

Purpose: This proposal increases nursery inspection fees within the fiscal growth factors for both fiscal year 2003 (3.29%) and fiscal year 2004 (3.2%) in WAC 16-401-027, 16-401-032, and 16-401-041. It does not increase the fees for retail nursery dealer licenses or wholesale nursery dealer licenses. In addition, it repeals WAC 16-401-026 and 16-401-031 because they set forth fee schedules that were only in effect for one day (June 30, 2001) and were superceded on July 1, 2001, by the current fee schedules. Finally, it rewrites WAC 16-401-021, 16-401-023, 16-401-027 and 16-401-032 to improve clarity as required by Executive Order 97-02.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapters 15.13, 15.14 and 34.05 RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapters 15.13 and 15.14 RCW.

Summary: The proposed amendments increase nursery inspection fees within the fiscal growth factors for fiscal year 2003 and fiscal year 2004. The increase will occur in two stages, with one increase of a maximum of 3.29% effective until June 30, 2003, and the second increase of a maximum of 3.2% effective July 1, 2003.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Current fee levels are not adequate to cover the costs of nursery inspection. The department is mandated in statute to support these activities through fees for service. The Nursery Advisory Committee, which is appointed by the director of the Department of Agriculture to advise the department on nursery related issues, supports the proposal to raise fees within the fiscal growth factor for fiscal year 2003 and fiscal year 2004.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Mary Toohey, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, (360) 902-1907; Implementation and Enforcement: Tom Wessels, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, (360) 902-1984.

Name of Proponent: Washington State Department of Agriculture, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: This rule establishes the fees charged by the plant services program for activities authorized in chapter 15.13 RCW and sets forth related billing and licensing information. The current inspection fee income is not adequate to cover program costs. This has made is necessary to raise fees within the fiscal growth factors for both fiscal year 2003 and 2004. We anticipate that the program will be better able to remain financially solvent.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: This rule establishes the fee schedule for nursery inspection. Proposed changes will increase fees by a maximum of the fiscal growth factor for fiscal year 2003, effective until June 30, 2003, and another increase in fees by a maximum of the fiscal growth factor for fiscal year 2004, effective July 1, 2003. It also rewrites sections of the rule to improve clarity as required by Executive Order 97-02.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. RCW 19.85.030 (1)(a) requires that an agency must prepare a small business economic impact statement (SBEIS) for proposed rules that impose a more than minor cost on businesses in an industry. Analysis of the economic effects of the proposed rule amendments demonstrate that the changes will not be more than a minor cost on the regulated industry and, therefore, an SBEIS is not required.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The Washington State Department of Agriculture is not a listed agency under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i).

Hearing Location: Washington State Department of Agriculture, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Natural Resources Building, 2nd Floor, Conference Room 205, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, on April 22, 2003, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Henri Gonzales by April 8, 2003, TDD (360) 902-1996.

Submit Written Comments to: Henri Gonzales, Washington State Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail hgonzales@agr.wa.gov, by April 22, 2003.

Date of Intended Adoption: May 6, 2003.

March 19, 2003

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director

OTS-6180.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-11-031, filed 5/8/01, effective 6/8/01)

WAC 16-401-021   Schedule of fees and charges -- Facility inspection(( -- Effective July 1, 1999)).   (1) The department may conduct regulatory inspections of any plant material at ((a location)) any nursery facility licensed ((as a nursery dealer)) under chapter 15.13 RCW ((is subject to regulatory inspections. A nursery inspection report will be issued,)) without additional charge except as provided in subsection (2) of this section((, stating the results of the inspection)). Subsequent to each inspection the department will issue a nursery inspection report to the licensed nursery.

(2) ((A fee may be charged)) The department may charge a fee for repeated, subsequent inspections of ((license)) licensed locations where plant material does not meet the requirements ((set forth)) in chapter 15.13 RCW((: Provided, That)). However, the ((license)) licensed location ((is subject)) cannot be subjected to ((no)) more than two paid inspections each license period. Fees are assessed on the basis of the time required for the inspection at the applicable hourly rate provided in this chapter ((16-401 WAC)).

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.13 and 15.14 RCW. 01-11-031, 16-401-021, filed 5/8/01, effective 6/8/01; 99-12-034, 16-401-021, filed 5/26/99, effective 6/26/99.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-12-034, filed 5/26/99, effective 6/26/99)

WAC 16-401-023   Schedule of fees and charges--Establishing hourly rates.   (1) Requested services are provided at the applicable hourly rate. The nonbusiness hourly rate applies for service provided before 8:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. during the ((work day)) workday and for all services provided on Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday listed in subsection (2) of this section.

(2) Holidays mean New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day immediately following Thanksgiving Day, Veteran's Day, Christmas Day, President's Day, and Martin Luther King's Birthday.

(3) The hourly charge is assessed in one-half hour increments.

(4) Persons requesting service with less than twenty-four hours notice during nonbusiness hours may be subject to a charge of two additional hours at the nonbusiness hourly rate, if the department is required to pay call back to the employee(s) providing the requested service.

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.13 and 15.14 RCW. 99-12-034, 16-401-023, filed 5/26/99, effective 6/26/99. Statutory Authority: [Chapter 15.13 RCW]. 92-24-067 (Order 4016), 16-401-023, filed 12/1/92, effective 1/1/93.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-11-031, filed 5/8/01, effective 6/8/01)

WAC 16-401-027   Schedule of fees and charges -- Applicable rates and charges(( -- Effective July 1, 2001)).   The following rates apply for requested inspection services:

(((1) Hourly rate.

(a) Business hours . . . . . . . . . . . . $28.40

(b) Nonbusiness hours (see WAC 16-401-023) . . . . . . . . . . . . $36.30))


(1) Fee or Charge: Effective Date
Until June 30, 2003 July 1, 2003
Hourly rate -- business hours $29.33 $30.20
Hourly rate -- nonbusiness hours $37.49 $38.60
Certificate issued at time if inspection No charge No charge
Certificate issued more than twenty-four hours after the inspection $14.04 $14.40
Additional certificates $4.54 $4.60
Fumigation lot or container fee $11.72 $12.05
Certificate of plant health for noncommercial movement $5.83 $6.00
Compliance agreement $29.33 $30.20
Inspection tags or stickers (lots of 250) $5.83 per lot $6.00 per lot
Inspection tags or stickers (minimum 10) $0.278 each $0.28 each

(2) Mileage at the established office of financial management rate (schedule A), per diem at actual cost, and travel time at the applicable hourly rate may be assessed for requested inspections that are not a part of a regular work schedule. Such charge may be prorated among applicants if more than one applicant is provided service during a ((work day)) workday or trip when mileage and/or per diem are applicable.

(3) Inspections for phytosanitary certification, including growing season field inspections, are provided at the applicable hourly rate provided in subsection (1) of this section except where an alternate certification inspection fee is provided in statute, in rule, or by a written agreement between the department and an industry entity, university, or public agency. When growing season field inspections for phytosanitary certification and regulatory inspections are performed simultaneously, the first two hours of inspection each calendar year for nurseries licensed under WAC 16-401-041 (1)(b) or (2)(a); and the first four hours of inspection per calendar year for nurseries licensed under WAC 16-401-041 (1)(c) or (2)(b), are without charge.

(((a))) There is no additional charge for the first phytosanitary certificate issued at the time of the inspection.

(((b) Phytosanitary certificates issued more than twenty-four hours from the time of the inspection, first certificate

. . . . . . . . . . . . $13.60

(c) Additional phytosanitary certificates . . . . . . . . . . . . $4.40 ea.))

(4) Inspection and certification of nonplant material or equipment for sanitation (freedom from soil or pests) by visual examination or through witnessing a prescribed treatment (steam cleaning, hydro-washing, etc.) is charged at the applicable hourly rate.

(((a) There is no additional charge for the first certificate.

(b) Additional certificates . . . . . . . . . . . . $4.40

(5) Inspections for garden brown snail certification or other miscellaneous inspection certification are charged at the applicable hourly rate.

(a) For the first certificate . . . . . . . . . . . . no charge

(b) For additional certificates . . . . . . . . . . . . $4.40

(6))) (5) Witnessing and certification of fumigation is charged at the applicable hourly rate, plus a per lot or container fee ((of

. . . . . . . . . . . . $11.35

(7) For)).

(6) The department may issue a certificate of plant health for noncommercial movement of plant materials between states by unlicensed persons, up to a maximum of five plants, and provided that the plants are brought to a plant services office for inspection(( . . . . . . . . . . . . $5.65)).

Note: When two or more types of inspection, provided in this section, are performed simultaneously, only one hourly rate applies. One certificate for one service is issued at no charge. ((Additional certificates are issued at the $4.40 rate.))

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.13 and 15.14 RCW. 01-11-031, 16-401-027, filed 5/8/01, effective 6/8/01.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-11-031, filed 5/8/01, effective 6/8/01)

WAC 16-401-032   Schedule of fees and charges -- Miscellaneous charges(( -- Effective July 1, 2001)).   The following rates for miscellaneous charges on requested inspections shall apply.

(1) Postage, special handling services and other miscellaneous costs exceeding five dollars are charges at the actual cost.

(2) Other requested office services, not specifically provided for, are charged a fee based on the portion of an hour at the applicable hourly rate in this chapter ((16-401 WAC)).

(((3) Nursery stickers and nursery stock inspection certificate tags:

(a) In lots of 250 . . . . . . . . . . . . $5.65 per lot

(b) Less than 250 (minimum 10) . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.27

(4) Authorization by the department to preprint Washington nursery stock inspection certificates on shipping containers, yearly authorization fee or renewal . . . . . . . . . . . . $28.40))

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.13 and 15.14 RCW. 01-11-031, 16-401-032, filed 5/8/01, effective 6/8/01.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-11-031, filed 5/8/01, effective 6/8/01)

WAC 16-401-041   Nursery dealer license fees.   Annual license fees as established below, must accompany the application for nursery dealer license:

(1) Retail nursery dealer license fee:

(a) Gross business sales of horticultural plants and turf less than two thousand five hundred dollars . . . . . . . . . . . . $37.67

(b) Gross business sales of horticultural plants and turf between two thousand five hundred dollars and fifteen thousand dollars, the license fee is . . . . . . . . . . . . $80.72

(c) Gross business sales of horticultural plants and turf of fifteen thousand dollars or more . . . . . . . . . . . . $161.45

(2) Wholesale nursery dealer license fee:

(a) Gross business sales of horticultural plants and turf less than fifteen thousand dollars . . . . . . . . . . . . $80.72

(b) Gross business sales of horticultural plants and turf of fifteen thousand dollars or more . . . . . . . . . . . . $161.45

(3) As provided in RCW 15.13.285, a surcharge of twenty percent of the base rate, in addition to the fees established on all classes of licenses in subsections (1) and (2) of this section, is established.

(4) Permit fee for those types of sales and organizations exempted from licensing requirements by RCW 15.13.270.

(a) Effective until June 30, ((2001, per permit. . . . . . $5.50)) 2003. . . . . . . . $5.83

(b) Effective July 1, ((2001, per permit. . . . . . $5.65)) 2003. . . . . . . . $6.00

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.13 and 15.14 RCW. 01-11-031, 16-401-041, filed 5/8/01, effective 6/8/01; 99-12-034, 16-401-041, filed 5/26/99, effective 6/26/99.]


REPEALER

     The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
WAC 16-401-026 Schedule of fees and charges -- Applicable rates and charges -- Effective June 30, 2001.
WAC 16-401-031 Schedule of fees and charges -- Miscellaneous charges -- Effective June 30, 2001.

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