(a) The council shall set the initial assessment at no greater than one-tenth of one cent per gallon of odorized propane. Thereafter, annual assessments shall be sufficient to cover the cost of plans and programs developed by the council. The assessment may not be greater than one-half cent per gallon of odorized propane. In no case may the assessment be raised by more than one-tenth of one cent per gallon of odorized propane annually.
(b) The owner of propane immediately prior to odorization shall make the assessment on the volume of odorized propane to be sold and placed into commerce in the State of Alabama. In the event odorized propane is imported into the state, the owner of the odorized propane immediately prior to importing shall be responsible for making the assessment. Propane designated for use in another state is not subject to the assessment. Assessments collected from purchasers of propane gas are payable to the council on a monthly basis by the twenty-fifth of the month following the month of collection. If payment is not made to the council by the due date under this subsection, an interest penalty not to exceed the maximum allowable by the State of Alabama on any amount unpaid shall be added for each month or fraction of a month after the due date, until final payment is made.
(c) The council may establish an alternative means of collecting the assessment if another means is found to be more efficient and effective. The council may establish a late payment charge and rate of interest to be imposed on any person who fails to remit or pay to the council any amount due under this article.
(d) The assessment shall not be required on any propane used for agriculture uses as defined in Section 9-17-171. Therefore, within 45 days after the assessment is paid, the retail marketer may make application for a refund from the council for any assessment paid on propane sold for agriculture uses. The council will establish the application process to facilitate the refund.