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Georgia State Code
Title       2
Chapter       7  
Section Navigation     1 ... 10         11 ... 20    
    21 ... 30         31 ... 58    
    59 ... 68         69 ... 94    
    95 ... 104       105 ... 113.1 
   114 ... 151         152 ... 170     
Section<<< 152 153 154 155 156 156.1 157 158 170  
Title 2, Chapter 7, Section 156 (2-7-156)

An assessment shall be levied upon all cotton growers in this state to cover, in whole or in part, the cost of boll weevil suppression and eradication programs authorized by this article, subject to the following:

(1) All assessments imposed on cotton shall be levied on a per acre or per bale basis as determined by the Commissioner upon recommendation of the cotton growers' organization; provided, however, that the per acre assessment shall continue to be used so long as acreage certification is available to the department;

(2) The per acre or per bale assessment, the period for which it shall be levied, and the geographical area to which the assessment applies shall be established by the Commissioner, upon recommendation by the board of directors of the cotton growers' organization;

(3) When the assessment is imposed on a per bale basis, it shall be the duty of each person who first purchases cotton from a cotton grower in this state to collect the assessments imposed pursuant to this article on such cotton, to file reports on forms prescribed by the Commissioner listing such sales and the name of the grower, and to remit the amounts so imposed and collected to the Commissioner within 30 days of the date of purchase of the cotton;

(4) The Commissioner of Agriculture is authorized, and it shall be the Commissioner's duty, to receive, collect, hold in trust, and disburse all assessments and any other funds created under this article as trust funds of the cotton growers' organization, without complying with the requirements applicable to funds collected for the use and benefit of the state. Such funds shall not be required to be deposited in the state treasury and appropriated therefrom. All moneys collected by the Commissioner shall be deposited in a bank or other depository approved by the growers' organization and shall be disbursed by the Commissioner only upon the written authorization of the certified cotton growers' organization for the administration and implementation of the boll weevil eradication program. Should the eradication program be discontinued or certification of the growers' organization be revoked by the Commissioner, the assessments authorized by this article shall be discontinued on the date specified by the Commissioner and any funds remaining in its hands at such time are authorized to be paid out by the Commissioner for existing obligations and for winding up the affairs of the certified cotton growers' organization. Any funds remaining over and above those required for completing the business of the cotton growers' organization shall be paid by the Commissioner to the contributing growers on a pro rata basis;

(5) Records maintained by the Commissioner on behalf of the certified cotton growers' organization shall be audited at least annually by the state auditor;

(6) The Commissioner shall have a lien for the payment of assessments under this article which shall be of equal dignity with liens for taxes in favor of the state. The Commissioner is authorized to issue executions for the collection of such assessments in like manner as executions are issued for ad valorem property taxes due the state. It shall be the duty of each and every sheriff of this state and their lawful deputies, upon request of the Commissioner, to levy and collect such executions and to make their return thereof to the Commissioner in like manner as such tax executions are levied and return thereof made to county tax collectors and tax commissioners; provided, however, that the Commissioner shall be authorized to levy and collect his or her own executions;

(7) In addition to the lien provided in paragraph (6) of this Code section, the Commissioner shall have a special lien on cotton for payment of assessments which shall be superior to any other lien provided by law, shall arise as of the time the assessments become due and payable, and shall cover all cotton grown by the cotton grower from the date the lien arises until such assessments are paid; provided, however, that any buyers of cotton shall take free of such lien if such buyer has not received written notice of the lien from the Commissioner. Such lien extends to the proceeds of sale received by the person who originally bought the cotton from the grower. Notice may be provided by tagging the cotton as being subject to a delinquency or by documentation in the sales agreement indicating that the cotton is subject to a delinquency. The Commissioner or the Commissioner's authorized representative is authorized and empowered to so tag the cotton wherever found. In order to enforce such liens, the Commissioner is authorized to issue an execution for the collection of delinquent assessments due the Commissioner. The execution shall be directed to all and singular sheriffs of this state and shall command them to levy upon the cotton of the cotton grower or notified initial buyer; provided, however, that the Commissioner shall be authorized to levy and collect his or her own executions. Each sheriff or the Commissioner or the Commissioner's authorized representative shall execute the execution as in cases of writs of execution from the superior courts. The Commissioner or the Commissioner's authorized representative may levy and conduct judicial sales in the manner provided by law for sales by sheriffs and constables. The special lien on cotton may also be enforced by a foreclosure action or action at law, as appropriate, brought by the Commissioner in the superior court of the county of residence of the person who originally bought the cotton from the grower. A buyer of cotton other than a person buying cotton from the grower takes free of the lien created by this paragraph.

Sunday May 24 19:57 EDT


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