AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE A REFERENDUM OF PROPANE DEALERS AND DISTRIBUTORS REGARDING A VOLUNTARY ASSESSMENT ON PROPANE TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR PROMOTIONAL, EDUCATIONAL, AND OTHER PROGRAMS OF THE INDUSTRY. Enacted July 18, 2013. Effective July 18, 2013.
Summary date: Jul 22 2013 - More information
Bill S 378 (2013-2014)Summary date: Apr 16 2013 - More information
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Makes technical changes.
Bill S 378 (2013-2014)Summary date: Mar 20 2013 - More information
Enacts new Article 5A of GS Chapter 119, establishing the Propane Assessment Act. Allows the NC Propane Education & Research Foundation (Foundation) to conduct referenda among the state's propane dealers and distributors on whether to levy an assessment on propane sold in the state. Requires the Foundation to determine the amount of the assessment, the time and place for the referendum, the procedure for conducting the referendum and counting votes, the proposed effective date for the assessment, and any other related matters. Caps the assessment rate at $.002 per gallon of propane sold. Provides that the assessment becomes effective if more than 50% of the eligible votes cast by dealers are in favor and if more than 50% of the eligible votes cast by distributors are in favor of the assessment.
Requires dealers to pay the assessment on each gallon of propane purchased from a distributor. Requires distributors to remit to the Foundation the assessment multiplied by the number of gallons of propane sold during the preceding quarter. Requires that the Foundation use the funds to promote the common good, welfare, and advancement of the propane industry. Provides for recordkeeping. Allows the Foundation to bring an action to recover any unpaid assessments plus reasonable costs. Allows a dealer to request a refund of the assessment by submitting a written request to the Foundation no later than 30 days after the end of the month for which the refund is requested. Prohibits any dealer who receives a refund from receiving (1) the benefit of any consumer rebate program for one year following the date of the refund request and (2) payment of any interest by the Foundation on the amount refunded.
Requires the Foundation to consult with the NC Propane Gas Association (Association) on the proposed use of the funds, as well as with entities representing agricultural consumers of propane to ensure some activities benefit the agriculture industry. Prohibits more than 10% of the funds from being used for administrative expenses. Provides for bookkeeping and recordkeeping.
Requires that the Foundation conduct a referendum on whether to continue the assessment upon the Commissioner of Agriculture's receipt of a petition signed by at least 10% of the dealers or a petition signed by at least 50% of the distributors requesting the referendum. Provides guidelines for the timing of the referendum and for the expiration of the assessment if the referendum passes. Also allows the Foundation to conduct a referendum on whether to continue the assessment on its own initiative.
Prohibits the Foundation and the Association from taking any action or interpreting this Article to pass the assessment costs on to the consumer.
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