WSR 07-19-060

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed September 14, 2007, 2:17 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Exempt from preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310(4).

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Apple commission, chapter 24-12 WAC, Assessments.

Hearing Location(s): W. L. Hansen Building, Conference Room, 105 South 18th Street, Yakima, WA 98902, on October 23, 2007, at 12:30 p.m.; and at the Washington Apple Commission, Conference Room, 2900 Euclid Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98802, on October 24, 2007, at 9:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: January 15, 2008.

Submit Written Comments to: Kelly Frost, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, e-mail kfrost@agr.wa.gov, fax (360) 902-2092, by 5:00 p.m., October 26, 2007.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact the Washington state department of agriculture (WSDA) receptionist by October 9, 2007, TTY 1-800-833-6388 or (360) 902-1976.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The Washington apple commission proposes to amend its assessments rules to allow an additional assessment of up to 2.5 cents per 100 pounds net shipping weight above the base rate set in chapter 15.24 RCW when circumstances warrant and to provide greater flexibility in adjusting annual assessment rates. Any assessment increase will be effective for only the designated year and will be based on factors such as projected crop size, the commission's fixed costs, dues increases, the amount of matching funds required to qualify for maximum federal MAP funds and program costs. The assessment will be set annually for the period September 1 through August 31 of the designated year. Growers, handlers and dealers will be notified by publication of any change in assessment rates at least fifteen days before the first billing at the new rate.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: There is currently a base assessment of 8.75 cents per 100 pounds net shipping weight on all fresh apples grown annually in this state and on all apples packed as Washington apples, including fresh sliced. Even though approximately 95% of the commission's costs are fixed costs, the commission's annual income varies with the crop size. Current program commitments cannot be sustained in the event of consecutive crop shortfalls below 100 million cartons. Assessment funds are used by the apple commission to support the Washington apple industry through work on things such as trade access issues, health and nutrition issues and the administration of the export program. With oversight from the director of WSDA, RCW 15.24.090 authorizes the commission to seek an assessment increase if it finds its revenue is inadequate to accomplish the commission's purposes. The flexibility built into the rule allows the commission to evaluate its situation yearly and determine whether the assessment needs to be adjusted.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 15.24.090.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 15.24 RCW.

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

Agency Comments or Recommendations, if any, as to Statutory Language, Implementation, Enforcement, and Fiscal Matters: Any rule proposal that results from this rule-making process will not be adopted unless the proposed rules are also approved in a referendum by at least two-thirds of affected apple producers who vote and at least two-thirds of the acreage voted. The referendum will be conducted pursuant to chapter 15.24 RCW.

Name of Proponent: Washington state apple commission, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Dave Carlson, P.O. Box 18, Wenatchee, WA 98807, (509) 663-9600.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Any adoption of amendments to chapter 24-12 WAC would ultimately be determined by a referendum vote of the affected parties. A formal small business [economic] impact statement under chapter 19.85 RCW is not required because of the exemption granted in RCW 15.24.073.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The department of agriculture and the Washington apple commission are not named agencies in RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i).

December 9, 2007

Dave Carlson

President

OTS-1059.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-23-064, filed 11/15/00, effective 12/16/00)

WAC 24-12-010   Amount of assessments.   (((1) There is hereby levied upon all fresh apples grown annually in this state, and upon all apples packed as Washington apples, an assessment of 86.96 cents on each one hundred pounds gross billing weight until September 30, 2001. On and after October 1, 2001 the assessment on fresh apples shall be 54.3 cents on each one hundred pounds gross billing weight. For the period October 1, 1998 through September 30, 2001, 32.66 cents of the assessment on each one hundred pounds gross billing weight shall be used only for direct consumer advertising.

(2) Assessments shall be payable as provided in WAC 24-12-012, whether in bulk or loose in boxes or any other container, or packed in any style package. The gross billing weights for the following containers shall apply for the purpose of computing said assessments:


((DESCRIPTION

OF CONTAINER

GROSS

BILLING WEIGHTS


1/3 Bushel box (packed or loose)

15 lbs.
1/2 Bushel box (loose) 23 lbs.
Bulk bushel container (loose)

Net weight

plus 3 lbs. tare

9/4 and 12/3 Bag containers 41 lbs.
13/3 Bag container 44 lbs.
10/4 and 8/5 Bag containers 45 lbs.
12/4 Bag container 53 lbs.
Standard tray pack container 46 lbs.
Pocket cell tray pack container 46 lbs.
Cell pack containers, all counts 46 lbs.
2-Layer tray pack container 23 lbs.
Single-layer tray pack container 12 lbs.))

(1) The base level of the assessment levied on all fresh apples grown annually in this state and all apples packed as Washington apples, including fresh sliced, is set in RCW 15.24.100 at eight and seventy-five one-hundredths cents (8.75) per one hundred pounds of apples, based on net shipping weight.

(2) If needed to fund commission activities, beginning in August 2008 and each year thereafter, the commission may adjust the assessment amount levied on fresh apples by an additional amount not to exceed two and fifty one-hundredths cents (2.5) on each one hundred pounds of apples, net shipping weight, for the upcoming September 1 through August 31 period, based on the factors listed in subsection (4) of this section.

(3) The additional assessment levied pursuant to subsection (2) of this section shall be effective only for the designated one-year period. If the commission fails to impose an additional assessment under subsection (2) of this section by August 31 in any given year, the assessment for the next period from September 1 through August 31 shall revert to the base level of 8.75 cents per one hundred pounds of apples net shipping weight.

(4) In determining whether to adjust the assessment amount, the commission shall consider the following factors:

(a) Projected crop size;

(b) The commission's fixed costs;

(c) Increases in dues to organizations to which the commission belongs, including but not limited to, the Northwest Horticulture Council and the U.S. Apple Association;

(d) Amount of matching funds required to qualify for the maximum federal Market Access Program (MAP) funds;

(e) Other changes in the industry that are outside of the commission's control; and

(f) Proposed annual commission budgetary needs, including but not limited to, a qualitative and quantitative review of programs carried out by the commission in the preceding year. The review shall consider whether each program met its goals and objectives and whether the program constitutes the best use of the commission's finite resources for the benefit of the industry.

(5) The commission shall provide growers, handlers and dealers notice by publication of changes in assessment rates in a timely and reasonable manner and in no event later than fifteen days before the first billing of the new assessment rate.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.24 RCW. 00-23-064, 24-12-010, filed 11/15/00, effective 12/16/00. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.24 RCW and 1997 c 303. 98-18-060 and 98-21-048, 24-12-010, filed 8/31/98 and 10/15/98, effective 10/1/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 15.24.070(1). 86-21-088 (Order 19), 24-12-010, filed 10/17/86; 84-20-002 (Order 16), 24-12-010, filed 9/20/84; 82-20-073 (Order 13), 24-12-010, filed 10/6/82. Statutory Authority: RCW 15.24.070(1) and 15.24.090. 81-16-011 (Order 9), 24-12-010, filed 7/27/81. Statutory Authority: RCW 15.24.070(1). 79-04-045 (Order 8), 24-12-011 (codified as WAC 24-12-010), filed 3/27/79, effective with the 1979 and subsequent crops of apples; 78-07-030 (Order 7), 24-12-010, filed 6/16/78, effective 9/1/78; Order 6, 24-12-010, filed 11/14/77; Order 1, 24-12-010, filed 9/19/69; Regulation No. 2, filed 1/26/67; Regulation No. 2, effective 9/29/61.]


REPEALER

     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 24-12-001 Promulgation.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office