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Penalty for late filing

Published (3/18/2010)
By Patty Ostberg
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Pesticide dealer licensing fees would increase for those applying late, under a bill laid over by the House Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Finance Division March 16 for possible omnibus bill inclusion.

Sponsored by Rep. Tim Faust (DFL-Mora), HF3295 would also make technical changes to pesticide applicator references; permit the agriculture commissioner to waive certain review fees for businesses that sell prepackaged foods, such as video stores; repeal the loan incentive program for Native Grasses and Wildflower Seed Production; and nonprofit farms less than 40 acres in size could use profits for educational purposes and be exempt from corporate farm land requirements.

Greg Buzicky, director of the Department of Agriculture Pesticide and Fertilizer Management Division, said about 20 of about 500 licensed dealers paid a $20 late fee last year. Under the bill, the late fee would increase to $75.

Rep. Al Juhnke (DFL-Willmar) called the fee increase a “pet peeve” and said there must be a “much friendlier way” to address the issue. He suggested sending a notice to a dealer that the fee would be late if it was not sent within a specified time.

Buzicky said the department does send out a notification and reminder in mid-November and in some publications.

Juhnke is also concerned about the exemption for nonprofit farms. By giving a new exemption, he said others, such as foreign- or corporate-owned farms, might question whether they should also have an exemption.

A companion, SF3021, sponsored by Sen. Steve Dille (R-Dassel), awaits action by the Senate Finance Committee.

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