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      RS 56:446     


§446.  Oyster severance tax; collection

A.  A severance tax of two and one-half cents per barrel on each barrel of oysters fished from leased water bottoms is levied and shall be paid to and collected by the department.  A severance tax of three cents per barrel on each and every barrel of oysters fished from the natural reefs either for sale or consumption, is levied and shall be paid to and collected by the department.  These taxes are levied upon and shall be paid by every person removing oysters or on whose behalf oysters are removed, whether from his own leased bedding ground or natural reefs, as stipulated above, except in such cases where oysters removed are sold by the person to any resident wholesale/retail dealer, in which event the severance tax shall be paid by the latter.  

B.  The secretary may examine, inspect, and audit the books, papers, and memoranda of all persons engaged in the oyster industry under licenses issued by the department.  

C.(1)  Oyster severance taxes shall be payable to the department on or before the tenth day of the month following the date of sale.  A statement of the quantity of oysters fished, purchased, and/or received shall be made by certification on monthly report forms furnished by the department and shall accompany each payment.  Upon failure to pay severance taxes when due, a penalty of ten percent per month, not exceeding thirty percent in the aggregate, calculated upon the severance tax due, shall be levied and collected by the department in addition to the tax due.  If there is a delinquency in the filing of reports and in the payment of taxes due as required above, demand for payment shall be made by the secretary as soon thereafter as possible, coupled with the warning that the license of the delinquent shall be revoked unless report is made and taxes paid.  

(2)  After demand for payment and warning, the secretary may seize any oysters or parts or products thereof in the possession of a person liable for taxes and penalties due and sell them for payment of the tax and penalties.  Any surplus from the proceeds of sale, after deducting all costs and charges, taxes, and penalties due, shall be paid to the owner of the oysters or parts or products thereof seized.  At any time after demand for payment and warning, the license of any person who fails to make monthly reports and to pay severance taxes due shall be revoked by the secretary, and shall so remain until all reports are made and all taxes due are paid with accrued penalties.  

(3)  Any person who refuses or fails to pay the severance taxes due or to make monthly reports as aforesaid, and whose license has been revoked, is hereby prohibited from buying and selling or otherwise engaging in the disposition of oysters or parts or products thereof and other seafoods under the jurisdiction of this commission.  

D.  The provisions of this Section shall apply to the nonresident wholesale/retail dealer whenever he buys oysters directly from any fisherman in this state for out-of-state shipment and no severance taxes have been paid on these shipments.  

E.  Violation of any of the provisions of this Section constitutes a class three violation.  

Acts 1981, No. 925, §1; Acts 1991, No. 476, §1, eff. July 15, 1991; Acts 1992, No. 528, §1, eff. June 29, 1992.  

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