(a) Every person who sells, offers for sale, exposes for sale, distributes or solicits orders for the sale of any agricultural, vegetable, herb, tree, shrub, or flower seed to retail seed dealers, farmers, or to others who use or plant such seed in the State of Alabama shall, before selling or offering such seed for sale or distributing or soliciting orders for the sale of such seed and on or before January 1 of each year secure an annual permit from the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries to engage in such business. Seed dealers and other sellers of seed shall apply for an annual permit upon forms prescribed by the commissioner, and such permit shall be issued upon the payment of the following permit fees when the application is in proper form:
(1) For each person engaged in selling seed at retail in closed containers or packets of eight ounces or less displayed on a supplemental container display, a permit fee established by the Board of Agriculture and Industries, not to exceed seven dollars fifty cents ($7.50) for each such display, the fee to be deposited to the benefit of the Agricultural Fund in the State Treasury;
(2) For each person selling seed to retail seed dealers, farmers, or others who use or plant the seed, not displayed on a supplemental container display, a permit fee for each place of business, or each representative or representatives, where such person does not maintain an established place of business in Alabama, shall be based on gross receipts from the sale of such seed for the last preceding year in Alabama established by the Board of Agriculture and Industries within the range of the schedule set out below as follows:
|Gross Receipts||Permit Fee|
|1. Receipts of $2,500.00 or less||$ 5.00 - $15.00|
|2. Receipts of $2,500.01 through $25,000.00||$ 25.00 - $50.00|
|3. Receipts of $25,000.01 through $50,000.00||$ 50.00 - $75.00|
|4. Receipts of $50,000.01 through $100,000.00||$100.00 - $150.00|
|5. Receipts of $100,000.01 through $200,000.00||$200.00 - $300.00|
|6. Receipts of $200,000.01 through $300,000.00||$300.00 - $400.00|
|7. Receipts of $300,000.01 through $400,000.00||$400.00 - $500.00|
|8. Receipts of $400,000.01 through $500,000.00||$500.00 - $600.00|
|9. Receipts of more than $500,000.00||$600.00 - $700.00|
(3) For places of business not previously in operation, the fee shall be based on anticipated gross receipts for the first year of business. Out-of-state seed sellers not previously selling seed in Alabama which sell or distribute seed through a representative soliciting orders in Alabama shall not be required to pay the required permit fee for their first year of operation in the State of Alabama.
(b) Any person selling seed who also sells seed in closed containers or packets of eight ounces or less from a rack display shall be required to pay only the permit fee required by subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section.
(c) Persons engaged in the operation of seed cleaning or processing plants, including peanut shellers, seed treaters and corn processors, and persons who purchase seed and process such seed for resale shall be required to obtain a permit as required under this section if such persons clean and/or process or treat seed at their plant, and the annual fee to be paid therefor shall be established by the Board of Agriculture and Industries not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100); provided, that if such persons shall sell seed to retail seed dealers, farmers, or to others who use or plant such seed they shall also be required to pay the annual permit fee required under subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section in addition to the annual permit fee.
(d) A broker, as defined in this subsection, shall obtain an annual permit as required by this section and pay the fee required under subdivision (2) of subsection (a) for a person selling seed. The term "broker" as used in this subsection means a person domiciled in Alabama or who solicits business in Alabama who acts as agent for or otherwise represents another person for compensation in negotiating the sale or purchase of agricultural, vegetable, flower, tree, shrub, or herb seed.
(e) Any permit issued under this section shall be valid and effective until January 1 next succeeding the date of issuance. The permit fee levied under this section shall be in addition to all other fees, licenses, taxes, and other similar charges or fees now levied by law for the sale of seed in Alabama. All fees collected under this section and all amounts collected as fines imposed under the penalty provisions of this article shall be paid into the Agricultural Fund of the State Treasury for use in the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this article. Amounts collected under this section as an improper or illegal collection or overpayment may be refunded to the person entitled thereto in accordance with Section 2-1-6.
(f) A permit as required under this section shall be obtained by a person for each place of business at which such person is engaged in the sale of seed and for each separate operation where seed are cleaned, treated, or otherwise processed unless such place of business is an integral part of one business or operation. All permit fees due under this section shall be delinquent if not paid within 30 days from the date on which the permit fee is due, and the commissioner is authorized to add a delinquent penalty of 10 percent to the amount of the permit fee due under this section. The permit fee levied under this section shall be paid by all agricultural cooperative marketing and purchasing associations, and the exemption allowed such organizations pursuant to Section 2-10-105 or any other exemption statute shall not relieve such cooperative organizations from the payment of the permit fee levied under the provisions of this section.
(g) Farmers or producers of agricultural, vegetable, flower, tree, shrub, or herb seed who sell uncleaned, unprocessed, unpackaged, and unlabeled seed of their own production only and do not sell seed received or purchased from other sources shall not be required to obtain a permit or pay any fee required under this section; provided, that any farmer who sells cleaned, processed, packaged, and labeled seed to retail seed dealers, farmers, or to others who use or plant such seed where the total amount of the sale price thereof is in excess of $3,000.00 in any one year shall be required to obtain a permit and pay the fee required by subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section; provided, that the first $3,000.00 worth of cleaned, processed, packaged, and labeled seed of any farmer shall be exempted from the computation of gross receipts in determining the amount of the permit fee.