Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Increased Assessment Rate, 27583-27585 [06-4440]

Download as PDF 27583 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 71, No. 92 Friday, May 12, 2006 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510. The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each week. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 905 [Docket No. FV06–905–1 FIR] Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; Increased Assessment Rate Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule which increased the assessment rate established for the Citrus Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2005–06 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.006 to $0.008 per 4⁄5 bushel carton of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida. Assessments upon Florida citrus handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period began August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. DATES: Effective Date: June 12, 2006. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doris Jamieson, Southeast Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA; telephone: (863) 324–3375, Fax: (863) 325–8793. Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Jay Guerber, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:59 May 11, 2006 Jkt 208001 Avenue, SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250–0237; Telephone: (202) 720– 2491, Fax: (202) 720–8938, or E-mail: Jay.Guerber@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule is issued under Marketing Agreement No. 84 and Marketing Order No. 905, both as amended (7 CFR part 905), regulating the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida, hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘order.’’ The order is effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601–674), hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘Act.’’ USDA is issuing this rule in conformance with Executive Order 12866. This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. Under the marketing order now in effect, Florida citrus handlers are subject to assessments. Funds to administer the order are derived from such assessments. It is intended that the assessment rate as issued herein will be applicable to all assessable oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida, beginning August 1, 2005, and continue until amended, suspended, or terminated. This rule will not preempt any State or local laws, regulations, or policies, unless they present an irreconcilable conflict with this rule. The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. Such handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA’s ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling. This rule continues in effect the action that increased the assessment rate established for the Committee for the PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 2005–06 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.006 per 4⁄5 bushel carton to $0.008 per 4⁄5 bushel carton of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida. The Florida citrus marketing order provides authority for the Committee, with the approval of USDA, to formulate an annual budget of expenses and collect assessments from handlers to administer the program. The members of the Committee are producers and handlers of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. They are familiar with the Committee’s needs and with the costs for goods and services in their local area and are thus in a position to formulate an appropriate budget and assessment rate. The assessment rate is formulated and discussed in a public meeting. Thus, all directly affected persons have an opportunity to participate and provide input. For the 2003–04 and subsequent fiscal periods, the Committee recommended, and USDA approved, an assessment rate that would continue in effect from fiscal period to fiscal period unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and information submitted by the Committee or other information available to USDA. The Committee met on December 16, 2005, and unanimously recommended 2005–06 expenditures of $209,000 and an assessment rate of $0.008 per 4⁄5 bushel of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida based on a crop estimate of 24 million 4⁄5 bushels. In comparison, last year’s budgeted expenditures were $300,000. The recommended assessment rate is $0.002 higher than the $0.006 rate currently in effect. The Committee originally met May 10, 2005, and recommended a budget of $220,000 and that the assessment rate be maintained at $0.006. The Committee had anticipated reduced shipments due to the lingering effects from the hurricanes the industry experienced during the 2004–05 season. However, in October 2005, the industry experienced additional crop loss due to the effects of Hurricane Wilma. Assessable cartons for 2005–06 are now estimated to be 24 million, down from the 36 million originally estimated for the season. Further, the new estimate is close to 28 million cartons under shipments for the 2003–04 season, the most recent season E:\FR\FM\12MYR1.SGM 12MYR1 27584 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 92 / Friday, May 12, 2006 / Rules and Regulations jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES not impacted by hurricanes. Consequently, an increase of the assessment rate was recommended by the Committee, and implemented by USDA. The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2005–06 fiscal year include $106,150 for salaries, $25,000 for Manifests—USDA– FDACS, $16,700 for retirement plan, $14,550 for insurance and bonds, and $8,250 for payroll taxes. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2004–05 were $131,000, $25,000, $20,500, $21,000, and $10,600, respectively. The assessment rate recommended by the Committee was derived by dividing anticipated expenses by expected shipments of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. As mentioned earlier, Florida citrus shipments for the year are estimated at 24 million 4⁄5 bushels, which should provide $192,000 in assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments, along with interest income and funds from the Committee’s authorized reserve will be adequate to cover budgeted expenses. Funds in the reserve currently total approximately $30,000 and are within the maximum permitted by the order of not to exceed one half of one fiscal period’s expenses as stated in § 905.42(a). The assessment rate will continue in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and information submitted by the Committee or other available information. Although this assessment rate is effective for an indefinite period, the Committee will continue to meet prior to or during each fiscal period to recommend a budget of expenses and consider recommendations for modification of the assessment rate. The dates and times of Committee meetings are available from the Committee or USDA. Committee meetings are open to the public and interested persons may express their views at these meetings. USDA will evaluate Committee recommendations and other available information to determine whether modification of the assessment rate is needed. Further rulemaking will be undertaken as necessary. The Committee’s 2005–06 budget and those for subsequent fiscal periods will be reviewed and, as appropriate, approved by USDA. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the economic impact of this rule on small entities. Accordingly, VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:08 May 11, 2006 Jkt 208001 AMS has prepared this final regulatory flexibility analysis. The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of business subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act, and the rules issued thereunder, are unique in that they are brought about through group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf. Thus, both statutes have small entity orientation and compatibility. There are approximately 8,500 producers of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos in the production area and approximately 75 handlers subject to regulation under the marketing order. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts less than $750,000, and small agricultural service firms are defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $6,500,000 (13 CFR 121.201). Based on industry and Committee data, the average annual f.o.b. price for fresh Florida citrus during the 2004–05 season was approximately $11.54 per 4⁄5 bushel carton, and total fresh shipments for the 2004–05 season were approximately 30.2 million cartons of citrus. Using the average f.o.b. price, at least 70 percent of the Florida citrus handlers could be considered small businesses under SBA’s definition. In addition, based on production and grower prices reported by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the total number of Florida citrus growers, the average annual grower revenue is approximately $87,600. In view of the foregoing, it can be concluded that the majority of handlers and producers of Florida citrus may be classified as small entities. This rule continues in effect the action that increased the assessment rate established for the Committee and collected from handlers for the 2005–06 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.006 to $0.008 per 4⁄5 bushel carton of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. The Committee unanimously recommended 2005–06 expenditures of $209,000 and an assessment rate of $0.008 per 4⁄5 bushel carton. The recommended assessment rate is $0.002 higher than the rate now in effect. The quantity of assessable oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos for the 2005–06 season is estimated at 24 million 4⁄5 bushel cartons. Thus, the $0.008 rate should provide $192,000 in assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments, along with interest income, and funds from the PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Committee’s reserve will be adequate to cover budgeted expenses. The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2005–06 fiscal year include $106,150 for salaries, $25,000 for Manifests—USDA– FDACS, $16,700 for retirement plan, $14,550 for insurance and bonds, and $8,250 for payroll taxes. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2004–05 were $131,000, $25,000, $20,500, $21,000, and $10,600, respectively. The Committee originally met May 10, 2005, and recommended a budget of $220,000 and that the assessment rate be maintained at $0.006. The Committee had anticipated reduced shipments due to the lingering effects from the hurricanes the industry experienced during the 2004–05 season. However, in October 2005, the industry experienced additional crop loss due to the effects of Hurricane Wilma. Assessable cartons for 2005–06 are now estimated to be 24 million, down from the 36 million originally estimated for the season. Further, the new estimate is close to the 28 million cartons under shipments for the 2003–04 season, the most recent season not impacted by hurricanes. Consequently, an increase in the assessment rate to meet 2005–06 budget requirements was recommended by the Committee and implemented by USDA. The Committee reviewed and unanimously recommended 2005–06 expenditures of $209,000. Prior to arriving at this budget, the Committee considered information from various sources including the Committee’s Budget Subcommittee. Alternative assessment rates were discussed based on different estimates of assessable cartons and budget expenses. The assessment rate of $0.008 per 4⁄5 bushel carton of assessable oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos was then determined by dividing the total recommended budget by the quantity of assessable Florida citrus, estimated at 24 million 4⁄5 bushel cartons for the 2005– 06 season taking into consideration the availability of reserve funds and interest income. This assessment rate will yield approximately $17,000 under anticipated budgeted expenses with the deficit funds to be drawn from reserves and interest income. A review of historical information and preliminary information pertaining to the upcoming 2005–06 fiscal period indicates that the grower price for the 2005–06 season could range between $1.23 and $7.18 per 4⁄5 bushel of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. Therefore, the estimated assessment revenue for the 2005–06 fiscal period as a percentage of total E:\FR\FM\12MYR1.SGM 12MYR1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 92 / Friday, May 12, 2006 / Rules and Regulations grower revenue could range between .11 and .65 percent. This action continues in effect the action that increased the assessment obligation imposed on handlers. While assessments impose some additional costs on handlers, the costs are minimal and uniform on all handlers. Some of the additional costs may be passed on to producers. However, these costs are offset by the benefits derived by the operation of the marketing order. In addition, the Committee’s meeting was widely publicized throughout the Florida citrus industry and all interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the December 16, 2005, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and small, were able to express views on this issue. This action imposes no additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large Florida citrus handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies. AMS is committed to compliance with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA), which requires Government agencies in general to provide the public the option of submitting information or transacting business electronically to the maximum extent possible. USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule. An interim final rule concerning this action was published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2006 (71 FR 5157). Copies of that rule were also mailed or sent via facsimile to all Florida citrus handlers. Finally, the interim final rule was made available through the Internet by USDA and the Office of the Federal Register. A 60-day comment period was provided for interested persons to respond to the interim final rule. The comment period ended on April 3, 2006, and no comments were received. A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/ fv/moab.html. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Jay Guerber at the previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. After consideration of all relevant material presented, including the information and recommendation submitted by the Committee and other VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:08 May 11, 2006 Jkt 208001 available information, it is hereby found that this rule, as hereinafter set forth, will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 905 Grapefruit, Marketing agreements, Oranges, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Tangelos, Tangerines. PART 905—ORANGES, GRAPEFRUIT, TANGERINES, AND TANGELOS GROWN IN FLORIDA Accordingly, the interim final rule amending 7 CFR part 905 which was published at 71 FR 5157 on February 1, 2006, is adopted as a final rule without change. I Dated: May 9, 2006. Lloyd C. Day, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 06–4440 Filed 5–11–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Citizenship and Immigration Services 8 CFR Parts 1 and 245 [CIS No. 2387–06] [DHS Docket No. USCIS–2006–0010] RIN 1615–AB50 DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Executive Office for Immigration Review 8 CFR Parts 1001 and 1245 [EOIR Docket No. 152; AG Order No. 2819– 2006] RIN 1125–AA55 Eligibility of Arriving Aliens in Removal Proceedings To Apply for Adjustment of Status and Jurisdiction To Adjudicate Applications for Adjustment of Status AGENCIES: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS; Executive Office for Immigration Review, DOJ. ACTION: Interim rules with request for comments. SUMMARY: The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General are amending their respective agencies’ regulations governing applications for adjustment of status filed by paroled arriving aliens seeking to become lawful permanent residents. The Secretary and the Attorney General are also amending PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 27585 the regulations to clarify when United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or the immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, have jurisdiction to adjudicate applications for adjustment of status by such aliens. In addition, the Secretary and the Attorney General are requesting comments on the possibility of adopting further proposals in the future to structure the exercise of discretion in adjudicating these applications for adjustment of status. DATES: Effective date: These rules are effective May 12, 2006. Comment date: Comments may be submitted not later than June 12, 2006. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by DHS Docket No. DHS– 2006–0010, by one of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Director, Regulatory Management Division, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20529. To ensure proper handling, please reference DHS Docket No. USCIS–2006–0010 on your correspondence. This mailing address may also be used for paper, disk, or CD– ROM submissions. • Hand Delivery/Courier: Regulatory Management Division, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20529. Contact Telephone Number (202) 272–8377. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Regarding amendment to 8 CFR parts 1 and 245: Evan Franke, Litigation Coordination Counsel, Office of the Chief Counsel, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Suite 4025, Washington, DC 20529, telephone (202) 272–1400 (not a toll free call). Regarding amendments to 8 CFR part 1001 and 1245: MaryBeth Keller, General Counsel, Executive Office for Immigration Review, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2600, Falls Church, Virginia 22041; telephone (703) 305–0470 (not a toll free call). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Public Participation Interested persons are invited to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written data, views, or arguments on all aspects of these rules. Comments that will provide the most E:\FR\FM\12MYR1.SGM 12MYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 92 (Friday, May 12, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 27583-27585]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-4440]



========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 
Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each 
week.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 92 / Friday, May 12, 2006 / Rules and 
Regulations

[[Page 27583]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 905

[Docket No. FV06-905-1 FIR]


Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines, and Tangelos Grown in Florida; 
Increased Assessment Rate

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final 
rule, without change, an interim final rule which increased the 
assessment rate established for the Citrus Administrative Committee 
(Committee) for the 2005-06 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.006 
to $0.008 per \4/5\ bushel carton of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, 
and tangelos handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing 
order which regulates the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, 
and tangelos grown in Florida. Assessments upon Florida citrus handlers 
are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of 
the program. The fiscal period began August 1 and ends July 31. The 
assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, 
suspended, or terminated.

DATES: Effective Date: June 12, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doris Jamieson, Southeast Marketing 
Field Office, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and 
Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA; telephone: (863) 324-3375, Fax: (863) 
325-8793.
    Small businesses may request information on complying with this 
regulation by contacting Jay Guerber, Marketing Order Administration 
Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence 
Avenue, SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 
720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or E-mail: Jay.Guerber@usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule is issued under Marketing 
Agreement No. 84 and Marketing Order No. 905, both as amended (7 CFR 
part 905), regulating the handling of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, 
and tangelos grown in Florida, hereinafter referred to as the 
``order.'' The order is effective under the Agricultural Marketing 
Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter 
referred to as the ``Act.''
    USDA is issuing this rule in conformance with Executive Order 
12866.
    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. Under the marketing order now in effect, Florida citrus 
handlers are subject to assessments. Funds to administer the order are 
derived from such assessments. It is intended that the assessment rate 
as issued herein will be applicable to all assessable oranges, 
grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in Florida, beginning August 
1, 2005, and continue until amended, suspended, or terminated. This 
rule will not preempt any State or local laws, regulations, or 
policies, unless they present an irreconcilable conflict with this 
rule.
    The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted 
before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the 
Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition 
stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation 
imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and 
request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. Such 
handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. 
After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides 
that the district court of the United States in any district in which 
the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of 
business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, 
provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of 
the entry of the ruling.
    This rule continues in effect the action that increased the 
assessment rate established for the Committee for the 2005-06 and 
subsequent fiscal periods from $0.006 per \4/5\ bushel carton to $0.008 
per \4/5\ bushel carton of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and 
tangelos grown in Florida.
    The Florida citrus marketing order provides authority for the 
Committee, with the approval of USDA, to formulate an annual budget of 
expenses and collect assessments from handlers to administer the 
program. The members of the Committee are producers and handlers of 
oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. They are familiar with 
the Committee's needs and with the costs for goods and services in 
their local area and are thus in a position to formulate an appropriate 
budget and assessment rate. The assessment rate is formulated and 
discussed in a public meeting. Thus, all directly affected persons have 
an opportunity to participate and provide input.
    For the 2003-04 and subsequent fiscal periods, the Committee 
recommended, and USDA approved, an assessment rate that would continue 
in effect from fiscal period to fiscal period unless modified, 
suspended, or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and information 
submitted by the Committee or other information available to USDA.
    The Committee met on December 16, 2005, and unanimously recommended 
2005-06 expenditures of $209,000 and an assessment rate of $0.008 per 
\4/5\ bushel of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos grown in 
Florida based on a crop estimate of 24 million \4/5\ bushels. In 
comparison, last year's budgeted expenditures were $300,000. The 
recommended assessment rate is $0.002 higher than the $0.006 rate 
currently in effect.
    The Committee originally met May 10, 2005, and recommended a budget 
of $220,000 and that the assessment rate be maintained at $0.006. The 
Committee had anticipated reduced shipments due to the lingering 
effects from the hurricanes the industry experienced during the 2004-05 
season. However, in October 2005, the industry experienced additional 
crop loss due to the effects of Hurricane Wilma. Assessable cartons for 
2005-06 are now estimated to be 24 million, down from the 36 million 
originally estimated for the season. Further, the new estimate is close 
to 28 million cartons under shipments for the 2003-04 season, the most 
recent season

[[Page 27584]]

not impacted by hurricanes. Consequently, an increase of the assessment 
rate was recommended by the Committee, and implemented by USDA.
    The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2005-06 
fiscal year include $106,150 for salaries, $25,000 for Manifests--USDA-
FDACS, $16,700 for retirement plan, $14,550 for insurance and bonds, 
and $8,250 for payroll taxes. Budgeted expenses for these items in 
2004-05 were $131,000, $25,000, $20,500, $21,000, and $10,600, 
respectively.
    The assessment rate recommended by the Committee was derived by 
dividing anticipated expenses by expected shipments of oranges, 
grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. As mentioned earlier, Florida 
citrus shipments for the year are estimated at 24 million \4/5\ 
bushels, which should provide $192,000 in assessment income. Income 
derived from handler assessments, along with interest income and funds 
from the Committee's authorized reserve will be adequate to cover 
budgeted expenses. Funds in the reserve currently total approximately 
$30,000 and are within the maximum permitted by the order of not to 
exceed one half of one fiscal period's expenses as stated in Sec.  
905.42(a).
    The assessment rate will continue in effect indefinitely unless 
modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and 
information submitted by the Committee or other available information.
    Although this assessment rate is effective for an indefinite 
period, the Committee will continue to meet prior to or during each 
fiscal period to recommend a budget of expenses and consider 
recommendations for modification of the assessment rate. The dates and 
times of Committee meetings are available from the Committee or USDA. 
Committee meetings are open to the public and interested persons may 
express their views at these meetings. USDA will evaluate Committee 
recommendations and other available information to determine whether 
modification of the assessment rate is needed. Further rulemaking will 
be undertaken as necessary. The Committee's 2005-06 budget and those 
for subsequent fiscal periods will be reviewed and, as appropriate, 
approved by USDA.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (RFA), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the 
economic impact of this rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has 
prepared this final regulatory flexibility analysis.
    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of 
business subject to such actions in order that small businesses will 
not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued 
pursuant to the Act, and the rules issued thereunder, are unique in 
that they are brought about through group action of essentially small 
entities acting on their own behalf. Thus, both statutes have small 
entity orientation and compatibility.
    There are approximately 8,500 producers of oranges, grapefruit, 
tangerines, and tangelos in the production area and approximately 75 
handlers subject to regulation under the marketing order. Small 
agricultural producers are defined by the Small Business Administration 
(SBA) as those having annual receipts less than $750,000, and small 
agricultural service firms are defined as those whose annual receipts 
are less than $6,500,000 (13 CFR 121.201).
    Based on industry and Committee data, the average annual f.o.b. 
price for fresh Florida citrus during the 2004-05 season was 
approximately $11.54 per \4/5\ bushel carton, and total fresh shipments 
for the 2004-05 season were approximately 30.2 million cartons of 
citrus. Using the average f.o.b. price, at least 70 percent of the 
Florida citrus handlers could be considered small businesses under 
SBA's definition. In addition, based on production and grower prices 
reported by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the total 
number of Florida citrus growers, the average annual grower revenue is 
approximately $87,600. In view of the foregoing, it can be concluded 
that the majority of handlers and producers of Florida citrus may be 
classified as small entities.
    This rule continues in effect the action that increased the 
assessment rate established for the Committee and collected from 
handlers for the 2005-06 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.006 to 
$0.008 per \4/5\ bushel carton of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and 
tangelos. The Committee unanimously recommended 2005-06 expenditures of 
$209,000 and an assessment rate of $0.008 per \4/5\ bushel carton. The 
recommended assessment rate is $0.002 higher than the rate now in 
effect. The quantity of assessable oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and 
tangelos for the 2005-06 season is estimated at 24 million \4/5\ bushel 
cartons. Thus, the $0.008 rate should provide $192,000 in assessment 
income. Income derived from handler assessments, along with interest 
income, and funds from the Committee's reserve will be adequate to 
cover budgeted expenses.
    The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2005-06 
fiscal year include $106,150 for salaries, $25,000 for Manifests--USDA-
FDACS, $16,700 for retirement plan, $14,550 for insurance and bonds, 
and $8,250 for payroll taxes. Budgeted expenses for these items in 
2004-05 were $131,000, $25,000, $20,500, $21,000, and $10,600, 
respectively.
    The Committee originally met May 10, 2005, and recommended a budget 
of $220,000 and that the assessment rate be maintained at $0.006. The 
Committee had anticipated reduced shipments due to the lingering 
effects from the hurricanes the industry experienced during the 2004-05 
season. However, in October 2005, the industry experienced additional 
crop loss due to the effects of Hurricane Wilma. Assessable cartons for 
2005-06 are now estimated to be 24 million, down from the 36 million 
originally estimated for the season. Further, the new estimate is close 
to the 28 million cartons under shipments for the 2003-04 season, the 
most recent season not impacted by hurricanes. Consequently, an 
increase in the assessment rate to meet 2005-06 budget requirements was 
recommended by the Committee and implemented by USDA.
    The Committee reviewed and unanimously recommended 2005-06 
expenditures of $209,000. Prior to arriving at this budget, the 
Committee considered information from various sources including the 
Committee's Budget Subcommittee. Alternative assessment rates were 
discussed based on different estimates of assessable cartons and budget 
expenses. The assessment rate of $0.008 per \4/5\ bushel carton of 
assessable oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos was then 
determined by dividing the total recommended budget by the quantity of 
assessable Florida citrus, estimated at 24 million \4/5\ bushel cartons 
for the 2005-06 season taking into consideration the availability of 
reserve funds and interest income. This assessment rate will yield 
approximately $17,000 under anticipated budgeted expenses with the 
deficit funds to be drawn from reserves and interest income.
    A review of historical information and preliminary information 
pertaining to the upcoming 2005-06 fiscal period indicates that the 
grower price for the 2005-06 season could range between $1.23 and $7.18 
per \4/5\ bushel of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos. 
Therefore, the estimated assessment revenue for the 2005-06 fiscal 
period as a percentage of total

[[Page 27585]]

grower revenue could range between .11 and .65 percent.
    This action continues in effect the action that increased the 
assessment obligation imposed on handlers. While assessments impose 
some additional costs on handlers, the costs are minimal and uniform on 
all handlers. Some of the additional costs may be passed on to 
producers. However, these costs are offset by the benefits derived by 
the operation of the marketing order.
    In addition, the Committee's meeting was widely publicized 
throughout the Florida citrus industry and all interested persons were 
invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee 
deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the December 
16, 2005, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and 
small, were able to express views on this issue.
    This action imposes no additional reporting or recordkeeping 
requirements on either small or large Florida citrus handlers. As with 
all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are 
periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and 
duplication by industry and public sector agencies.
    AMS is committed to compliance with the Government Paperwork 
Elimination Act (GPEA), which requires Government agencies in general 
to provide the public the option of submitting information or 
transacting business electronically to the maximum extent possible.
    USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, 
overlap, or conflict with this rule.
    An interim final rule concerning this action was published in the 
Federal Register on February 1, 2006 (71 FR 5157). Copies of that rule 
were also mailed or sent via facsimile to all Florida citrus handlers. 
Finally, the interim final rule was made available through the Internet 
by USDA and the Office of the Federal Register. A 60-day comment period 
was provided for interested persons to respond to the interim final 
rule. The comment period ended on April 3, 2006, and no comments were 
received.
    A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and 
specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http:/
/www.ams.usda.gov/fv/moab.html. Any questions about the compliance 
guide should be sent to Jay Guerber at the previously mentioned address 
in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.
    After consideration of all relevant material presented, including 
the information and recommendation submitted by the Committee and other 
available information, it is hereby found that this rule, as 
hereinafter set forth, will tend to effectuate the declared policy of 
the Act.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 905

    Grapefruit, Marketing agreements, Oranges, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Tangelos, Tangerines.

PART 905--ORANGES, GRAPEFRUIT, TANGERINES, AND TANGELOS GROWN IN 
FLORIDA

0
Accordingly, the interim final rule amending 7 CFR part 905 which was 
published at 71 FR 5157 on February 1, 2006, is adopted as a final rule 
without change.

    Dated: May 9, 2006.
Lloyd C. Day,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 06-4440 Filed 5-11-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P