920.41 Assessments.§ 920.41 Assessments.
(a) As his or her pro rata share of the expenses which the Secretary finds are reasonable and likely to be incurred by the committee during a fiscal period, each person who first handles kiwifruit during such period shall pay to the committee, upon demand, assessments on all kiwifruit so handled. The payment of assessments for the maintenance and functioning of the committee may be required under this part throughout the period it is in effect, irrespective of whether particular provisions thereof are suspended or become inoperative. If a handler does not pay any assessment within the time prescribed by the committee, the assessment may be subject to an interest or late payment charge, or both, as may be established by the Secretary upon recommendation of the committee.
(b) The Secretary shall fix the rate of assessment to be paid by each such person during a fiscal period in an amount designed to secure sufficient funds to cover the expenses which may be incurred during such period and to accumulate and maintain a reserve fund equal to approximately one fiscal period's expenses. At any time during or after the fiscal period, the Secretary may increase the rate of assessment in order to secure sufficient funds to cover any later finding by the Secretary relative to the expenses which may be incurred: Provided, That any assessment, excluding any amount collected pursuant to § 920.55(c), must be limited to a maximum assessment rate of three and one-half cents per flat, or the equivalent thereof. The Secretary may increase this maximum rate in each succeeding year after the initial year of order operation by the Consumer Price Index (cost of living) for California as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Such increase shall be applied to all kiwifruit handled during the applicable fiscal period. In order to provide funds for the administration of the provisions of this part during the first part of a fiscal period before sufficient operating income is available from assessments on the current year's shipments, the committee may accept the payment of assessments in advance, and may also borrow money for such purposes.[49 FR 39658, Oct. 10, 1984, as amended at 57 FR 1220, Jan. 12, 1992]