Montana Administrative Register Notice 4-23-279 No. 17   09/08/2023    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 4.17.107 pertaining to annual report and assessment fees






TO: All Concerned Persons


            1. On September 29, 2023, at 8:30 a.m., the Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing in Room 225 of the Scott Hart Building, at Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rule.


2. The Department of Agriculture will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the Department of Agriculture no later than September 26, 2023, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, 302 N. Roberts St., Helena, Montana, 59620-0201; telephone (406) 444-5402; fax (406) 444-5409; TDD/Montana Relay Service (406) 444-3144; or e-mail agr@mt.gov.


3. The rule as proposed to be amended provides as follows, new matter underlined, deleted mater interlined:


            4.17.107  ANNUAL REPORT AND ASSESSMENT FEES  (1) remains the same.

(2)  The assessment fee for producers is 0.5% of sales except that the minimum producer assessment is $150 and the maximum producer assessment is $5,000 $3,000.

      (3) through (5) remain the same.


AUTH: 80-11-601, MCA

IMP: 80-11-601, MCA


Reason: The current maximum fee is higher than the standard charged by other certifiers.  On the advice of the Organic Advisory Council, we are lowering the fee to be more comparable to other certifiers.  The program has adequate revenue to make this lower fee sustainable.  At the current time it only affects two operations. The two affected growers will each pay $2,000 less in fees for a total impact to the program of $4,000.


            4. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing.  Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, 302 N. Roberts St., Helena, Montana, 59601; telephone (406) 444-5402; fax (406) 444-5409; or e-mail agr@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., October 26, 2023.


5. Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.


6. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in paragraph 4 or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


7. An electronic copy of this proposal notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sosmt.gov/ARM/Register.  


8. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


9. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the amendment of the above-referenced rule will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.



/s/ Cort Jensen                                           /s/ Christy Clark                              

Cort Jensen                                               Christy Clark

Rule Reviewer                                           Director

                                                                   Department of Agriculture


Certified to the Secretary of State August 29, 2023.



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