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NO. 154. AN ACT RELATING TO DIESEL FUEL TAX.

(H.188)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 23 V.S.A. § 3002(3) and (4) are amended to read:

(3) "Distributor" means any person who sells or delivers fuel into bulk storage tanks of a dealer or *[licensed]* user;

(4) "Fuel" means clear diesel fuel that has not been dyed in accordance with 26 U.S.C. § 4082 or section 211(I) of the Clean Air Act and any blend of undyed diesel and other fuel used or suitable for use for the generation of power to propel motor vehicles;

Sec. 2. 23 V.S.A. § 3003 is amended to read:

§ 3003. IMPOSITION OF TAX; EXCEPTIONS

(a) A tax of *[16]* 25 cents per gallon and a fee of one cent per gallon is imposed on each gallon of fuel established pursuant to the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 1942:

(1) sold or delivered by a distributor *[except when such sale or delivery is to a dealer who also sells fuel as home heating oil or to a user who has been certified exempt from the tax by the commissioner]*; or

(2) *[sold or delivered by a dealer who also sells fuel as home heating oil or is a user who has been certified exempt by the commissioner; or]*

*[(3)]* used by a user.

(b) Collection of the tax and its payment to the state shall be as follows:

(1) the distributor shall collect the tax from a dealer or user on delivery of fuel into the dealer’s or user’s bulk tanks *[unless the dealer also sells fuel as home heating oil or is a user who has been certified exempt from the tax by the commissioner in which cases no tax will be collected by the distributor]*. The tax shall attach at the time of delivery into the bulk tank. When a distributor collects a tax from a dealer*[, he]* or user, the distributor shall pay the same to the commissioner *[when he files]* with the monthly report required by section 3014 of this title;

(2) *[the dealer who also sells fuel as home heating oil or is a user who has been certified exempt by the commissioner shall collect the tax when he sells or delivers the fuel from the pump, or from any other method of delivery except from a separate pump for off-road use and home heating oil sales under the provisions of section 3027 of this title and except from a home heating oil delivery truck which has been registered pursuant to section 367 of this title, and shall pay the tax to the commissioner as provided by section 3004 of this title;]*

*[(3)]* a user who uses fuel shall pay the tax to the commissioner as provided in section 3015 of this title. The tax shall attach at the time of the consumption of such fuel in the propulsion of a motor vehicle upon the highways of the state*[;]* *[(4) except as otherwise provided, all other users shall file the report required by section 3014 and pay the tax as required by section 3015 of this title]*.

(c) A tax of three cents per gallon is imposed on each gallon of railroad fuel used in the state.

(d) For users, the following uses shall be exempt from taxation under this chapter and be entitled to a credit for any tax paid for such uses under section 3020 of this title:

(1) uses, the taxation of which would be precluded by the laws and Constitution of the United States and this state;

(2) uses for agricultural purposes not conducted on the highways of the state;

(3) uses by any state, municipal, school district, fire district or other governmentally owned vehicles for official purposes;

(4) uses by any vehicle off the highways of the state;

(5) uses by motor buses registered in this state; and

(6) uses by any vehicle registered as a farm truck under section 367(f) of this title.

Provided, however, that no tax shall be due with respect to fuel for use in any state, municipal, school district, fire district or other governmentally-owned vehicle, as long as the distributor takes from the purchaser at the time of sale an exemption certificate in the form prescribed by the commissioner; and provided, further, that no tax shall be due with respect to fuel delivered for farm use to a farm bulk fuel storage tank.

(e) A distributor may use as the measure of the tax so levied and assessed the gross quantity of diesel fuel purchased, imported, produced, refined, manufactured and compounded by the distributor, less one percent for shrinkage, loss by evaporation or otherwise, instead of the quantity sold, distributed or used.

Sec. 3. 23 V.S.A. § 3007 is amended to read:

§ 3007. DIESEL FUEL USER'S LICENSE

(a) In addition to any other provision of law relating to registration of motor vehicles, or fees paid therefore, a person owning or operating upon the highways of the state a motor truck, which is registered in the state, using fuel as defined in section 3002 of this title, shall, for each motor truck to be so operated, apply to the commissioner *[of motor vehicles]* for a diesel fuel user license, which shall be renewed at the time of renewal of the truck's registration. Application shall be made upon a form prescribed by such commissioner and shall set forth such information as the commissioner may require. Applications filed at the time of the initial registration or renewal of a registration shall be accompanied by a $6.50 annual license fee for each motor truck listed in the application except that no fee shall be required for motor trucks with a gross weight of less than *[18,000]* 26,001 pounds. *[However, any license issued under this section prior to July 1, 1990 shall remain in effect for the term of its issuance.]*

(b) In addition to any other provisions of law relating to registration of motor vehicles, or fees paid for registration, a person owning or operating upon the highways of the state a motor truck *[using fuel,]* which is not base registered in this state, using fuel as defined in section 3002 of this title shall for each such motor truck apply to the commissioner for a diesel fuel user license *[for each motor truck to be so operated]*. Application shall be made upon a form prescribed by the commissioner and shall set forth such information as *[he or she]* the commissioner may require. Except for motor trucks with a gross weight of less than *[18,000]* 26,001 pounds, and vehicles licensed under section 415 of this title, the application for issuance of initial and renewal licenses shall be accompanied by a $6.50 license fee for each motor truck listed in the application, the fee being for *[the purpose of paying]* the cost of the license, cab card and tag, plate or sticker. The commissioner shall issue a license, cab card and an identification tag, plate or sticker for each motor truck which tag, plate or sticker shall be of the size and design and contain such information as the commissioner shall prescribe. Except as otherwise provided any license, cab card and tag, plate or sticker shall become void on each January 1 thereafter or, when determined by the commissioner, 12 months from the first day of the month of issue. Licenses and cab cards shall be carried in the motor vehicle and the tag, plate or sticker shall be affixed to the motor vehicle and at all times be visible and legible. *[For emergency purposes, the commissioner may by telegram, identifying the motor vehicle, authorize its operation without the attachment of a tag, plate or sticker for a period not to exceed 21 days from the date of issue of the license. The telegram must be kept with the vehicle while being so operated.]*

(c) This section shall not apply to users' vehicles exempt from reporting requirements under section 3014 of this title or to users' vehicles exempt from taxation under section 3003(d)(3) and (5) of this title, or to users' vehicles that are being operated under the provisions of sections 463 or 516 of this title.

*[(d) Upon approval of the commissioner, one way rental vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or less are exempt from carrying the diesel fuel user's license in the motor vehicle and are exempt from displaying the identification tag, plate or sticker on or in the motor vehicle.]*

Sec. 4. 23 V.S.A. § 3014 is amended to read:

§ 3014. REPORTS; EXCEPTIONS

(a) Every distributor or dealer, on or before the last day of each month, shall file with the commissioner on forms prescribed by him or her a report for the preceding month which shall include the number of gallons of fuel sold or delivered. A distributor's report shall also include the identity of the person to whom the fuel was sold or delivered, the amount of the tax collected and by whom, and the monthly total of fuel sold or delivered. The report shall be filed even though no fuel was sold or delivered.

(b) Every licensed user shall file a report with the commissioner on forms prescribed or in a form approved by him or her, which shall include the number of gallons of fuel used in Vermont by motor vehicles owned or operated by him or her. *[In the alternative, the commissioner may permit a licensed user to file a report on forms prescribed or in a form approved by him or her which shall include all bulk deliveries of fuel received by the user on which the tax was not paid to the distributor.]* All users shall file on a quarterly basis on or before April 30 for the calendar quarter ending March 31, on or before July 31 for the calendar quarter ending June 30, on or before October 31 for the calendar quarter ending September 30, and on or before January 31 for the calendar quarter ending December 31. The report shall be filed even though no motor fuel was used or delivered. *[The commissioner may allow a user to file more than one report but no more than three reports for a single reporting period based upon the functional categories of said user's motor vehicles.]*

(c) Any user whose sole use of fuel is for the propulsion of a pleasure car or motor truck registered for not more than *[10,000]* 26,001 pounds is exempt from filing the report *[provided that all fuel obtained in this state for use is purchased from a dealer who collects the tax from the user when delivering the fuel into the fuel tank of the user's vehicle. This subsection shall apply to vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate and to trucks registered for not more than 10,000 pounds, but does not include a motor vehicle used for the transportation of persons for hire or for compensation when such vehicle is designed to carry eight or more passengers including the operator. Notwithstanding that a user's sole use of fuel is in a pleasure car vehicle or truck registered for not more than 10,000 pounds, he or she shall obtain a user's license and file a fuel report in form approved by the commissioner if he or she is using fuel from bulk storage tanks on which the tax has not been paid at the time of purchase or delivery]*.

(d) *[The commissioner may exempt a user from the quarterly report requirement:]*

*[(1) if the user holds a valid license and files a certification that he or she has no fuel storage facilities in use, purchases all fuel used by him or her from dealers and pays the tax on the fuel to the dealer. Such users shall retain records of the volume of the fuel purchased and the identity of the dealer from whom the fuel was purchased. This exemption may remain in effect until a change in any condition of the exemption occurs.]* *[(2) if the user holds a valid license and elects to file annually a certificate estimating his or her tax liability under this chapter for the ensuing year to be $100.00 or less, accompanied by a fee of $10.00. Such users shall retain records of the volume of fuel used and shall pay any amount of tax owed at the end of the tax year.]* *[(e)]* If the commissioner deems it necessary in order to insure payment of the tax, or to facilitate the administration of this chapter, *[he]* the commissioner may require reports and payment of tax to be made for other than and in addition to quarterly periods. A user may apply to the commissioner for approval to file reports and pay taxes on a more frequent basis. *[(f) Where a user operates in more than one state, he may make reports by operating division or divisions involved in lieu of reporting on overall operations. The commissioner may grant an extension of time not to exceed 30 days for filing reports and tax remittances on written request made before the delinquent date or within the period for which an extension exists, provided that interest at the rate of one and one-half percent per month shall be payable from the due date until paid. Reports shall not be under oath but shall contain a declaration that it is made under the penalties of perjury.]* *[(g)]*(e) The commissioner may exempt a dealer from the monthly report requirement if the dealer holds a valid license and annually certifies that *[he]* the dealer purchases all fuel sold or delivered from a licensed distributor and pays the tax on such fuel to the distributor. A dealer so exempted shall retain and make available for inspection by the commissioner or *[his]* designated agents such records as may be required to substantiate *[his]* the certification including but not limited to pump meter readings and delivery invoices.

Sec. 5. 23 V.S.A. § 3015 is amended to read:

§ 3015. COMPUTATION AND PAYMENT OF TAX

Each report required under section 3014 of this title from licensed distributors, dealers *[who also sell fuel as home heating oil]* or users *[who have been certified exempt from the tax by the commissioner, and users]* shall be accompanied by a remittance payable to the department of motor vehicles for the amount of tax due which shall be computed in the following manner:

(1) The distributor's tax shall be determined by multiplying the number of gallons of fuel sold or delivered into the bulk tanks of dealers *[who do not sell fuel as a home heating oil or are not users who have been certified exempt from the tax by the commissioner]* or users by the rate per gallon stated in section 3003 of this title.

(2) *[The tax of a dealer who also sells fuel as home heating oil or is a user who has been certified exempt from the tax by the commissioner shall be determined by multiplying the number of gallons of fuel sold or delivered from the pump by the rate per gallon stated in section 3003.]*

*[(3)]* Except as provided in subdivision (9) of section 3002 of this title, the user's tax shall be determined by multiplying the number of gallons of fuels used in Vermont in motor vehicles operated by *[him or her]* the user at the rate per gallon stated in section 3003 for vehicles *[of less than 10,000 pounds, and at the rate of 25 cents per gallon for vehicles]* weighing *[10,000]* or registered for 26,001 pounds or more. The taxable gallonage shall be computed on the basis of miles travelled within the state as compared to total miles travelled within and without the state, with the actual method of computation prescribed by the commissioner. *[The commissioner may allow mileage to be reported on an average basis rather than by actual odometer readings. Where operations in more than one state are involved, the licensee may compute the taxable gallonage in the prescribed manner based on one or more operating divisions involved in lieu of reporting and computing the taxable gallonage on overall operations]* A distributor may use as the measure of the tax so levied and assessed the gross quantity of fuel purchased, imported, produced, refined, manufactured and compounded by the distributor, less one percent for shrinkage, loss by evaporation or otherwise, instead of the quantity sold, distributed or used. From this amount of tax due, there shall be deducted the tax on fuel purchased in this state on which the tax has been previously paid by the user, provided the tax-paid purchases are supported by copies of the sales invoices showing the amount of tax paid. Such copies shall be retained by the taxpayer for a period of not less than three years and shall be available for inspection by the commissioner or his or her designated agents. If the computation shows additional tax to be due, it shall be remitted with the report filed under section 3014 of this title. *[(4)]*(3) If a remittance to cover payment of taxes due as shown by a report required by this chapter is sent through the United States mail properly addressed to the department of motor vehicles, it shall be deemed received on the date shown by the postmark on the envelope containing the report only for purposes of avoiding penalty and interest. In the event a mailing date is affixed to the envelope by a machine owned or under the control of the person submitting the report, and the United States post office has corrected or changed the date stamped thereon by causing the official United States post office postmark to also be imprinted on the envelope, the date shown by the official post office postmark shall be the accepted date if different from the original postmark. *[(5)]*(4) All taxes, interest, user license fees and penalties collected by the department of motor vehicles under this chapter shall be forthwith paid to the state treasurer and credited to the transportation fund. *[(6) The tax of a licensed user who has been permitted to report bulk deliveries of fuel shall be determined by multiplying the number of gallons of fuel delivered by the rate per gallon stated in section 3003 of this title.]* *[(7)]*(5) Notwithstanding subdivision *[(5)]*(4) of this section, the one cent per gallon fee imposed by this chapter shall be deposited into the petroleum cleanup fund established by 10 V.S.A. § 1941. These fees shall be deemed the petroleum distributor licensing fee established by 10 V.S.A. § 1942.

Sec. 6. 23 V.S.A. § 3016(a) is amended to read:

(a) If the commissioner is not satisfied that the report filed or the amount of tax paid by a taxpayer is accurate, after investigating and finding such inaccuracy, he or she may make an additional assessment of taxes due from the taxpayer based upon his or her investigation. In estimating the tax due from a licensed user, fuel consumption shall be computed at the rate of 10 miles per gallon for vehicles registered up to and including 10,000 pounds and at four miles per gallon for all vehicles registered over 10,000 pounds for any unreported Vermont mileage in excess of four percent of the operator's total Vermont mileage. Any tax assessed for mileage up to four percent of the operator's total Vermont mileage shall be assessed based on the operator's fuel consumption average for his or her entire fleet. A penalty equal to ten percent and interest at the rate of one and one-half percent per month shall be payable on the additional assessment, with interest computed from the date the tax payment was due. The commissioner shall give notice by mail to the taxpayer of the additional assessment, penalty and interest and shall designate the error or reason for the assessment. Payment shall be due within 30 days of the date of mailing the notice. The commissioner may, in his or her discretion, waive all or any part of the penalty.

Sec. 7. 23 V.S.A. § 3020(a) is amended to read:

(a) A person who purchased fuel *[with]* within this state from a dealer or distributor upon which he or she paid the tax at the time of purchase, or a person exempt from the payment of the tax under section 3003(d) of this title and who purchased fuel within this state upon which he or she paid tax at the time of purchase shall be entitled to a credit or refund equal to the amount of tax per gallon in effect when the fuel was purchased. When the amount of the credit to which any person is entitled for any reporting period exceeds the amount of his or her tax for the same period, the excess shall be allowed as a credit against the tax for which the person otherwise would be liable for the next succeeding reporting period. However, any credits to be calculated shall be applied against any outstanding assessments due with the balance to be credited against the tax liability for the next succeeding reporting period. If requested, he or she shall be entitled to a refund of any excess tax paid. When the excess tax paid is $25.00 or greater, a refund shall be made without a request being required. Credit or refunds for tax paid purchases must be claimed on either the report covering the reporting period in which the purchase was made or on the report filed for any of the next 11 following reporting periods, but in no case may credits or refunds be claimed more than 33 months following the due date of the report covering the reporting period in which the purchase was made.

Sec. 8. 23 V.S.A. § 3025 is amended to read:

§ 3025. RECORDS REQUIRED

(a) The user of a motor truck with a gross weight or registered weight of *[18,000]* 26,001 pounds or *[over]* more shall maintain a daily record of miles travelled both within and without the state of Vermont.

(b) Such records shall be retained by the user for a period of not less than *[three]* four years and shall be available for inspection by the commissioner*[, his]* or designated agents or enforcement officers.

Sec. 9. 23 V.S.A. § 3027 is amended to read:

§ 3027*[. HOME HEATING OIL; OFF-ROAD USE; SALES]* CIVIL FINE

*[(a) A dealer may sell diesel fuel for use as home heating oil, for use by agricultural users exempt under section 3003(d)(2) of this title and for use by off-road users exempt under section 3003(d)(4) from a pump on the premises of the dealer on which no tax shall be imposed under this chapter nor collected from the purchaser by the dealer under section 3003(b). This exemption shall apply only if the fuel:]* *[(1) is not pumped into a motor vehicle fuel tank;]* *[(2) is delivered by a pump or other delivery system from storage which is separate from that used to deliver fuel into fuel tanks of motor vehicles and is plainly marked "Not For Road Use"; and]* *[(3) the dealer indicates on any bill of sale provided to the purchaser, and on all records maintained by the dealer, that no tax was collected on such sale.]* *[(b) A dealer who sells diesel fuel on which no tax is imposed pursuant to this section shall file a distributor's report monthly as required by section 3014(a) of this title for all such fuel sold. The distributor's report shall include the identity of the person to whom the fuel was sold and the amount of fuel sold. A report shall be filed indicating when no fuel was sold.]* *[(c)]* In addition to any other penalty imposed for violation of this chapter, a civil fine of $1,000.00 shall be imposed*[:]* *[(1) upon a dealer for each instance in which the dealer delivers fuel from the separate pump of a delivery system required for exemption under subsection (a) of this section into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle; and]* *[(2)]* upon a purchaser or user for each instance in which the purchaser or user uses untaxed fuel to propel a motor vehicle upon the highways of the state.

Sec. 10. 23 V.S.A. § 382 is added to read:

§ 382. DIESEL-POWERED PLEASURE CARS

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the annual registration fee for a pleasure car or tractor, truck-tractor or motor truck up to 6,000 pounds powered by fuel as defined in section 3002 of this title shall be $26.00 and the biennial fee shall be $48.00.

Sec. 11. REPEAL

23 V.S.A. § 3004 (collection and payment of tax by a fuel dealer) is repealed.

Sec. 12. TRANSITIONAL PROVISION

Each dealer and user shall take inventory of the clear, undyed diesel fuel in his or her or its possession on June 30, 2000. No later than July 31, 2000, each dealer or user shall, on forms prescribed by the commissioner, report the number of gallons on hand as of June 30, 2000 and pay the tax thereon.

Sec. 13. EFFECTIVE DATE

Sections 1 through 13 of this act shall take effect July 1, 2000.

Sec. 14. 23 V.S.A. § 1400(d) and (e) are added to read:

(d) The commissioner may enter into contracts with an electronic permitting service that will allow the service to issue single trip permits to a commercial motor vehicle operator, on behalf of the department of motor vehicles. The permitting service shall be authorized to issue single trip permits for travel to and from a Vermont facility by commercial motor vehicles which are not greater than 72 feet in length on routes that have been approved by the agency of transportation. The permitting service may assess, collect and retain an additional administrative fee which shall be paid by the commercial motor vehicle carrier.

(e) Notwithstanding any other statute or rule to the contrary, overweight permits shall not be issued to vehicles registered in another state or province, unless that state or province issues similar permits on a reciprocal basis to vehicles registered in Vermont.

Sec. 14a. RECIPROCAL OVERWEIGHT PERMIT; REVOCATION

All overweight permits previously issued to vehicles registered in another state or province which do not issue similar overweight permits on a reciprocal basis to vehicles registered in Vermont shall be revoked, effective July 1, 2000.

Sec. 15. 23 V.S.A. § 1402 is amended to read:

§ 1402. *[SIGNATURE; RECORDING; FEE]* OVERWEIGHT, WIDTH, HEIGHT, AND LENGTH PERMITS; FEES

(a) *[The permit]* Overweight, overwidth, indivisible overlength and overheight permits. Overweight, overwidth, indivisible overlength and overheight permits shall be signed by the commissioner or by his or her agent*[. A]* and a copy *[of the permit]* shall be kept in the office of the commissioner or in a location approved by the commissioner. Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a copy shall also be available in the towing vehicle and must be available for inspection on demand of a law enforcement officer. Before operating a traction engine, tractor, trailer, motor truck or other motor vehicle, the person to whom *[the]* a permit to operate in excess of the weight, width, indivisible overlength and height limits established by this title is granted shall pay a fee of $20.00 for each single trip permit or $70.00 for a blanket permit, except that the fee for a fleet blanket permit shall be $70.00 for the first unit and $1.00 for each unit thereafter. At the option of a carrier, an annual permit for the entire fleet, to operate over any approved route, may be obtained for $70.00 for the first tractor and $1.00 for each additional tractor, up to a maximum fee of $1,000.00. The fee for a fleet permit shall be based on the entire number of tractors owned by the applicant. An applicant for a fleet permit may apply for any number of specific routes, each of which shall be reviewed with regard to the characteristics of the route and the type of equipment operated by the applicant. *[If a fleet permit is obtained, no additional permit shall be required of the holder to operate on a specific route or routes approved in the permit.]* When the weight or size of the vehicle-load are considered sufficiently excessive for the routing requested, the agency of transportation shall, on request of the commissioner, conduct an engineering inspection of the vehicle-load and route, for which a fee of $150.00 will be added to the cost of the permit if the load is a manufactured home. For all other loads, the fee shall be $400.00 for any engineering inspection that requires up to eight hours to conduct. If the inspection requires more than eight hours to conduct, the fee shall be $400.00 plus $60.00 per hour for each additional hour required. The study must be completed prior to the permit being issued. Prior to the issuance of a permit, an applicant whose vehicle is 150,000 pounds or more in weight, or 15 or more feet in width or height, shall file with the commissioner a special certificate of insurance showing minimum coverage of $250,000.00 for death or injury to one person, $500,000.00 for death or injury to two or more persons and $250,000.00 for property damage, all arising out of any one accident.

(b) Overlength permits. Except as provided in subsection 1432(f) of this title, it shall be necessary to obtain an overlength permit as follows:

(1) For vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer which are longer than 68 feet but not longer than 72 feet off the truck network established in subsection 1432(c) of this title and the distance between the steering axle and the rearmost tractor axle is 23 feet or less. In such cases, the vehicle may be operated with a single or multiple trip overlength permit issued by the department of motor vehicles at no cost or, for a fee, by an entity authorized under subsection 1400(d) of this title for routes approved by the agency of transportation.

(2) For vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer longer than 68 feet but not longer than 72 feet off the truck network established in subsection 1432(c) of this title and the distance between the steering axle and the rearmost tractor axle is more than 23 feet. In such cases, the vehicle may be operated with a single trip overlength permit issued by the department of motor vehicles at no cost for routes approved by the agency of transportation.

(3) For vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer longer than 72 feet anywhere in the state on highways approved by the agency of transportation. In such cases, the vehicle may be operated with a single trip overlength permit issued by the department of motor vehicles for a fee of $20.00. If the vehicle is 100 feet or more in length, the permit applicant shall file with the commissioner of motor vehicles, a special certificate of insurance showing minimum coverage of $250,000.00 for death or injury to one person, $500,000.00 for death or injury to two or more persons and $250,000.00 for property damage, all arising out of any one accident.

*[(b)]*(c) Prepayment of permit fees. The commissioner of motor vehicles may accept prepayments of fees under section 1400 of this title. A prepayment shall be credited to the account of the person making the prepayment and the account shall be reduced to the extent of any fees due from that person under this section; provided, however, fees may not be charged to the account in excess of the account balance. Upon oral application of any person having prepaid fees the commissioner may issue a permit with an identifying number, and the permit shall become effective immediately. Upon application the commissioner shall return any unused portion of the prepayment to the person originally making the prepayment. *[(c) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, over dimension or overweight loads must have a copy of the permit in the towing vehicle and the permit must be available for inspection on demand of a law enforcement officer.]*

(d) *[Prior to the issuance of a permit, an applicant whose vehicle is:]*

*[(1) fifteen feet or more in width; or]* *[(2) one hundred feet or more in length; or]* *[(3) fifteen feet or more in height; or]* *[(4) one hundred fifty thousand pounds or more in weight, shall file with the commissioner a special certificate of insurance showing minimum coverages of $250,000.00 for death or injury to one person, $500,000.00 for death or injury to two or more persons and $250,000.00 property damage, all arising out of any one accident.]* *[(e)]* Permit for shipment of mobile or manufactured homes. The commissioner may from time to time designate a specific route as being pre-approved for the shipment of mobile or manufactured homes which are greater than 14 feet but not greater than 16 feet in overall width. Any person to whom a permit is issued under subsection (a) of this section, to transport a mobile or manufactured home which is greater than 14 feet but not greater than 16 feet overall width, over routes that have been pre-approved shall pay in lieu of the fees established in that subsection, a single trip permit fee of $40.00. *[(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a fleet blanket permit allowing statewide operation shall be available for a tractor-semi-trailer combination in which the length of the semi-trailer is 48 feet or less, and the overall vehicle length exceeds 65 feet but does not exceed 75 feet. The permits shall be issued to an applicant without charge, and all efforts shall be exerted to process permit applications by the end of the next business day following submission by the applicant. The secretary of transportation or designee, shall report to the chairs of the house and senate committees on transportation on a quarterly basis, the number]* *[of all applications submitted and the number which have not been processed within the period provided for by this subsection. The report shall also contain a list of those permittees who have been fined for third offenses under section 1434(a) and (b) of this title. ]* *[(g) In the case of trailers or semi-trailers that exceed 48 feet in length, as a condition of operation in this state, the commissioner may require that the length of the trailer or semi-trailer be displayed upon the trailer or semi-trailer in the manner determined by the commissioner.]*

Sec. 16. 23 V.S.A. § 1042(d) is added to read:

(d) If the legislative body of a municipality desires to establish a truck route within the municipality but is unable to do so by means of the provisions of this section, it may notify the agency of transportation of the preferred location of the truck route. The agency shall conduct a study of the proposed truck route and shall issue a report. The report shall include recommendations with respect to the feasibility of the route, the estimated cost of improvements, and appropriate funding mechanisms.

Sec. 17. 23 V.S.A. § 1432 is amended to read:

§ 1432. LENGTH OF VEHICLES; AUTHORIZED HIGHWAYS

(a) *[No motor vehicle, with or without trailer or semi-trailer attached, which is longer than 65 feet overall shall be operated upon any highway except as otherwise provided herein or under special permission from the commissioner of motor vehicles.]* Operation of vehicles with or without a trailer or semitrailer. No motor vehicle without a trailer or semitrailer attached, which is longer than 46 feet overall, shall be operated upon any highway except under special permission from the commissioner of motor vehicles. A motor vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer shall be operated, with regard to the length of the vehicle, pursuant to this section. If there is a trailer or semitrailer, the distance between the kingpin of the semitrailer to the center of the rearmost axle shall not exceed 43 feet.

(1) Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer not exceeding 72 feet on the truck network. If the overall length of a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer does not exceed 72 feet, it may be operated without a permit on the truck network established in subsection (c) of this section.

(2) Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer not exceeding 68 feet off the truck network. If the overall length of a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer does not exceed 68 feet, it may be operated without a permit off the truck network.

(3) Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer longer than 68 feet but not longer than 72 feet off the truck network; tractor 23 feet or less. If the overall length of a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer is longer than 68 feet but not longer than 72 feet, and if the distance between the steering axle to the rearmost tractor axle is 23 feet or less, a permit may be issued pursuant to subdivision 1402(b)(1) of this title. A receiver or shipper of goods located in Vermont may request from the agency of transportation, access to a state highway, not on the truck network, for a commercial motor vehicle where the overall length exceeds 68 feet but is not longer than 72 feet. The agency of transportation shall review the route or routes requested, making its determination for approval based on safety and engineering considerations, after considering input from local government and regional planning commissions or the metropolitan planning organization. The agency shall maintain consistency in its application of acceptable highway geometry when approving other routes. The agency may authorize safety precautions on these highways, if warranted, which shall include, but not be limited to, precautionary signage, intelligent transportation system signage, special speed limits and use of flashing lights.

(4) Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer longer than 68 feet but not longer than 72 feet off the truck network; tractor greater than 23 feet. If the overall length of a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer is longer than 68 feet but not longer than 72 feet, and if the distance between the steering axle to the rearmost tractor axle is greater than 23 feet in length, a permit may be issued pursuant to subdivision 1402(b)(2) of this title.

(5) Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer longer than 72 feet. If the overall length of a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer is longer than 72 feet, a permit may be issued pursuant to subdivision 1402(b)(3) of this title.

(b) Rear-end protective devices on trailers. A trailer or *[semi-trailer]* semitrailer not in excess of 53 feet may be operated provided*[:]*

*[(1) the distance between the kingpin of the semi-trailer and the centerline of the rear axle or rear axle group does not exceed 41 feet; and]* *[(2)]* the *[semi-trailer]* semitrailer is equipped with a rear-end protective device of substantial construction consisting of a continuous lateral beam extending to within four inches of the lateral extremities of the *[semi-trailer]* semitrailer and located not more than 22 inches from the surface as measured with the vehicle empty and on a level surface*[; and]*. *[(3) operation is:]* *[(A) on the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways;]* *[(B) on highways leading to or from the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways for a distance of one mile unless the agency of transportation finds the use of a specific highway to be unsafe; or]* *[(C) on such other highways which the agency of transportation approves based on safety or engineering considerations.]*

(c) *[A trailer or semi-trailer not in excess of 48 feet need only meet the requirements of subdivision (b)(1) of this section.]* The truck network. The truck network shall consist of the following: U.S. Route 2 between the New Hampshire state line and the junction of U.S. Route 5; U.S. Route 2 from the junction of exit 21 on I-91 to exit 8 on Interstate 89; U.S. Route 2 between the New York state line and VT Route 78; VT Route 2A; U.S. Route 4 from the New York state line to the junction of VT Route 100 south; U.S. Route 5 from the junction of U.S. Route 2 to the function of exit 20 of I-91; U.S. Route 5 between I-91 at exit 22 to the south entrance of the St. Johnsbury-Lyndonville industrial park; U.S. Route 5 south from I-91 at exit 22 to the intersection of St. Johnsbury Railroad Street and Hastings Hill Street; U.S. Route 7; VT Route 9 from the New York state line to the junction of exit 2 on I-91; VT Route 9 from the junction of exit 3 on I-91 to the New Hampshire state line; VT Route 18 from U.S. Route 2 to the New Hampshire state line; VT Route 22A between U.S. Route 4 and U.S. Route 7; VT Route 78; VT Route 103; VT Route 105 from the junction of U.S. Route 7 to the junction of VT Route 100, then southerly on VT Route 100 to the junction of VT Route 100 and VT Route 14, then easterly on VT Route 14 to the junction of VT Route 14 and U.S. Route 5, then northerly on U.S. Route 5 to the junction of U.S. Route 5 and VT Route 105, then easterly on VT Route 105 from the junction of U.S. Route 5 to the New Hampshire border; VT Route 104 from VT Route 105 to I-89 at exit 19; VT Route 253 from the New Hampshire border to the Canadian border; VT Route 289; and U.S. Route 302. The commissioner is authorized to place special restrictions applying to motor vehicles on any route of the truck network when, in his or her opinion, the restrictions would provide for the safe operation of all vehicles on the route.

(d) Operation on U.S. Route 4. Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer which are longer than 68 feet but not longer than 72 feet may be operated with a single or multiple trip overlength permit issued at no cost by the department of motor vehicles or, for a fee, by an entity authorized in subsection 1400(d) of this title on U.S. Route 4 from the New Hampshire state line to the junction of VT Route 100 south, provided the distance from the kingpin of the semitrailer to the center of the rearmost axle is not greater than 43 feet.

*[(d)]*(e) Operation of pole semitrailers. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prevent the operation of so-called pole dinkeys or pole *[semi-trailers]* semitrailers when being used to support the ends of poles, timbers, pipes, or structural members capable, generally, of sustaining themselves as beams between the supporting connections, the overall length of which may exceed 60 feet under special permission from the commissioner of motor vehicles. *[(e)]*(f) Operation on Interstate highways. Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways and those classes of qualifying Federal-aid Primary System highways as designated by the Secretary, United States Department of Transportation, and on highways leading to or from the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways for a distance of one mile, unless the agency of transportation finds the use of a specific highway to be unsafe, no overall length limits for tractor-semitrailer or tractor semitrailer-trailer combination shall apply. On *[such]* these highways, no semitrailer in a tractor-semitrailer combination longer than 53 feet and no trailer or semitrailer in a tractor-semitrailer-trailer combination longer than 28 feet shall be operated. However, the limits established by this section shall not be construed in such a manner as to prohibit the use of semitrailers in a tractor-semitrailer combination of such dimensions as were in actual and lawful use in this state on December 1, 1982. *[(f)]*(g) List of approved highways. The commissioner shall prepare a list of each highway that has been approved for travel by *[trailers or semi-trailers of fifty-three feet in length]* vehicles referred to in subsection (a) of this section. The list shall be furnished, without charge, to each permitting service, electronic dispatching service or other similar service authorized to do business in this state and, upon request, to any interested person.

Sec. 18. 23 V.S.A. § 1436 is amended to read:

§ 1436. *[REGIONAL]* STATEWIDE MUNICIPAL COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE ENFORCEMENT FUND

A *[regional]* statewide municipal commercial motor vehicle enforcement fund is created for the purpose of supporting *[a regional]* commercial motor vehicle law enforcement *[initiative in Windsor County]* initiatives in the state. The fund shall be administered by the commissioner of motor vehicles *[who shall distribute the funds to municipalities within Windsor County]*. Municipalities may apply to the commissioner on forms supplied by the department of motor vehicles. Funds distributed to municipalities, which shall not exceed $12,000.00 annually per municipality under this section, shall be used for training of municipal law enforcement officers for commercial motor vehicle enforcement *[purposes]*, temporary replacement officers for those municipal law enforcement officers receiving commercial motor vehicle enforcement training, and *[in the manner agreed to]* other municipal commercial motor vehicle enforcement uses as determined by the commissioner *[and the municipality]*. The commissioner shall *[insure]* ensure that the activities of the *[regional]* commercial motor vehicle law enforcement initiative are consistent with those of the enforcement plan produced pursuant to section 1435 of this title. The commissioner shall report annually to the general assembly on or before the second week of January *[15, 1999]* on the expenditures from and activities of the *[regional]* statewide municipal commercial motor vehicles enforcement fund.

Sec. 19. APPROPRIATION

The sum of $100,000.00 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the statewide municipal commercial motor vehicle enforcement fund to implement the provisions of Sec. 18 of this act.

Sec. 20. 23 V.S.A. § 1603a is added to read:

§ 1603a. REPORTS OF ACCIDENTS INVOLVING COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES

All accidents involving a commercial motor vehicle or any vehicle displaying a hazardous materials placard shall be reported to the department of motor vehicles by appropriate law enforcement personnel on forms and in a manner prescribed by the commissioner.

Sec. 21. COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT REPORT FORMS

The department of motor vehicles, in cooperation with the agency of transportation, the department of public safety and other law enforcement entities, shall develop by July 1, 2000, a commercial motor vehicle accident reporting form which, at a minimum, identifies the cause of the accident, commercial vehicle and driver violations of state laws or federal regulations, the size and weight of the vehicle, weather conditions, and the structural condition and geometric configuration of the highway.

Sec. 22. PRIORITIZED ROADWAY IMPROVEMENTS ON TRUCK NETWORK

The agency of transportation is directed to prioritize, according to the Vermont design standards, the location of safety improvements on the truck network as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 1432(c), and off the truck network on U.S. Route 4 from the New Hampshire state line to the junction of VT Route 100 south, determine costs and make recommendations for expediting the necessary work. Included in this analysis shall be the identification on the network of locations for enforcement, tractor and trailer break-down and rest areas for commercial motor vehicle operators. The agency shall report to the House and Senate committees on transportation the analysis required in this section and shall annually report the status of improvements made to the truck network.

Sec. 23. 23 V.S.A. § 4120(c) is added to read:

(c) The fine imposed for a speeding violation of a commercial motor vehicle operating in excess of 15 miles per hour over the legally posted speed limit on any state or town highway shall be one and one-half times the fine imposed for a speeding violation in other vehicles.

Sec. 24. REPORT

On or before October 1, 2001, the commissioner, in consultation with the agency of transportation, shall file with the general assembly, a comprehensive report, regarding:

(1) the number of overlength permits issued, the type of permits issued, number of accidents involving permitted vehicles, and any identified problems with the process;

(2) commercial motor vehicle traffic counts, whereby the agency of transportation shall determine, by August 1, 2000, the estimated annual counts

on U.S. Route 4 from the New Hampshire state line to the junction of VT Route 100 south and on VT Route 103, U.S. Route 7 and VT Route 22A. The agency shall additionally determine the counts on these highways by August 1, 2001.

(3) any recommendations regarding the effectiveness of the permits, potential truck routes, and any other matter deemed appropriate by the commissioner; and

(4) an analysis of the data compiled from the commercial motor vehicle accident report forms.

Sec. 25. MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM; DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES; DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY; FUNDING

The department of public safety shall provide the department of motor vehicles, by January 1, 2001, with a detailed report on the use of Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) funds used for commercial motor vehicle enforcement. The content of the report shall be specified by the commissioner of motor vehicles. A copy of this report shall be given to the House and Senate committees on transportation.

Sec. 26. COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT RESPONSE PROTOCOL

The department of motor vehicles and the department of public safety shall develop, by July 1, 2000, a protocol for Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) certified inspectors to respond to commercial motor vehicle accidents in the state.

Sec. 27. COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE ENFORCEMENT TECHNOLOGY

The department of motor vehicles shall conduct an examination into the technology that exists nationwide for commercial motor vehicle enforcement and make recommendations to the legislature by December 1, 2000, as to which technologies are appropriate for Vermont.

Sec. 28. WEIGH-IN-MOTION SENSORS

The agency of transportation shall install weigh-in-motion sensors on each route referenced in 23 V.S.A. § 1432(d). The agency shall utilize the weigh-in-motion sensors or other devices used to determine commercial motor vehicle lengths and volume on the truck network referenced in 23 V.S.A. § 1432(c). The agency, using the data collected by the weigh-in-motion sensors on the truck network, shall issue an annual report which shall include, but not be limited to, overall vehicle volume on each route by month, the commercial motor vehicle volume on each route, and the length of commercial motor vehicles on each route.

Sec. 29. WEIGH-IN-MOTION SENSORS; APPROPRIATION

The sum of $60,000.00 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the agency of transportation for the requirement set forth in Sec. 28 of this act.

Sec. 30. FREIGHT STUDY FINDINGS

The secretary of transportation shall evaluate the findings of the freight study currently due to be completed in the spring of 2000, and report to the legislature by January 15, 2001, his or her recommendation for amending Vermont’s truck policy.

Sec. 31. AUTHORIZED POSITIONS

(a) The establishment of four (4) new positions - Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Inspector - are authorized for fiscal year 2001.

(b) The establishment of one (1) new position – Transportation Technician IV – is authorized for fiscal year 2001.

Sec. 32. MOTOR VEHICLE FINE REVENUE DISTRIBUTION STUDY

The joint fiscal office shall evaluate the motor vehicle fine revenue distribution process under 13 V.S.A. § 7251 and determine whether the distribution formula warrants any modifications. A report shall be submitted to the Senate and House committees on transportation.

Sec. 33. ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION FUND REVENUE

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any additional revenue in FY2001 above the amount necessary to meet the transportation fund appropriations and transfers at the adjournment of the 2000 session of the general assembly shall be allocated to a special account within the transportation fund and reserved for appropriations in FY2002 for improvements to U.S. Route 4 from the New Hampshire state line to the junction of VT Route 100 south and the truck network established in this act. An amount equal to this amount, shall be allocated annually from the transportation fund to the special account, and reserved for appropriations for improvements to the highways referenced in this section for fiscal years 2003 and 2004.

Sec. 34. 23 V.S.A. § 1391a(b)(1) is amended to read:

(1) For violation of each of the above statutory sections, fines shall be imposed as follows:

*[$10.00]* $15.00 for each 1,000 lbs. or portion thereof overweight for the first 5,000 lbs. overweight; *[$20.00]* $30.00 for each 1,000 lbs. or portion thereof overweight when the gross overweight is more than 5,000 lbs. and less than 10,001 lbs.; *[$30.00]* $45.00 for each 1,000 lbs. or portion thereof overweight when the gross overweight is more than 10,000 lbs. and less than 15,001 lbs.; *[$40.00]* $60.00 for each 1,000 lbs. or portion thereof overweight when the gross overweight is more than 15,000 lbs. and less than 20,001 lbs.; *[$60.00]* $90.00 for each 1,000 lbs. or portion thereof overweight when the gross overweight is more than 20,000 lbs. and less than 25,001 lbs.; and *[$100.00]* $150.00 for each 1,000 lbs. or portion thereof overweight when the gross overweight is more than 25,000 lbs.

Sec. 35. EFFECTIVE DATES

Sections 14 through 35 of this act shall take effect as follows:

(1) From passage: Secs. 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 32, 33, and this section.

(2) July 1, 2000: Secs. 14, 14a, 16, 18, 19, 23, 28, 29, 31 and 34.

(3) August 1, 2000: Secs. 15 and 17.

(4) October 1, 2000: Sec. 20.

Diesel Fuel Tax Collection Provisions

Sec. 36. 23 V.S.A. § 3028 is added to read:

§ 3028. BULK SALES; TRANSFEREE LIABILITY

(a) Whenever a licensee (transferor) required to collect and remit the tax required by this chapter shall make any sale, transfer, lease or assignment (transfer) in bulk of any part or the whole of the assets of a business, otherwise than in the ordinary course of the business, the purchaser, transferee, lessee or assignee (transferee) shall, at least ten days before taking possession of the subject of the transfer or before payment therefor if earlier, notify the commissioner in writing of the proposed transfer and of the price and date thereof; and whether or not the transferor has represented to, or has informed the transferee that the transferor owes any tax, interest or penalties required by this chapter and whether or not the transferee has knowledge that such taxes, interest or penalties are owed, and whether any taxes, interest or penalties are in fact owed.

(b) Whenever the transferee shall fail to give notice to the commissioner as required by subsection (a) of this section, or whenever the commissioner shall inform the transferee that a possible claim for tax, interest or penalty exists, any sums of money, property or choses in action, or other consideration, which the transferee is required to transfer over to or for the transferor shall be subject to a first priority right and lien for any taxes, interest or penalty theretofore or thereafter determined to be due from the transferor to the state, and the transferee is forbidden to transfer the consideration to or for the transferor to the extent of the amount of the state's claim.

(c) For failure to comply with this section, the transferee shall be personally liable to the state for the amount of the state's claim theretofore or thereafter determined to be due to the state from the transferor and the liability may be assessed and enforced against the transferee in the same manner as provided for by this chapter against the transferor.

Sec. 37. 23 V.S.A. § 3029 is added to read:

§ 3029. PERSONAL LIABILITY

Any licensee who fails to collect the tax required by this chapter or to pay it to the commissioner in the manner required by this chapter shall be personally and individually liable for the amount of such tax and any interest and penalty assessed thereon pursuant to 23 V.S.A. §§ 3017 and 3018; and if the licensee is a corporation or other entity, the personal liability shall extend and be applicable to any officer or agent of the corporation or entity who as an officer or agent of the same is under a duty to collect the tax and pay it to the commissioner as required in this chapter.

Sec. 38. 23 V.S.A. § 3030 is added to read:

§ 3030. TAX LIABILITY AS PROPERTY LIEN; DISCHARGE AND FORECLOSURE

(a) If any licensee required to pay the tax under this chapter neglects or refuses to pay the same after demand is made by the commissioner, the amount, together with all penalties and interest provided for in this chapter and together with any costs that may accrue in addition thereto, shall be a lien in favor of the state of Vermont upon all property and rights to property, whether real or personal, belonging to such licensee. Such lien shall arise at the time demand is made by the commissioner and shall continue until the liability for such sum with interest and costs is satisfied or becomes unenforceable. Such lien shall have the same force and effect as the lien provided for in 32 V.S.A. § 5895, and notice of such lien shall be recorded as is provided in said section.

(b) Release and foreclosure of the lien shall be as provided in 32 V.S.A. § 5895(b) and (c).

(c) This section shall also apply to any officer or agent found personally liable pursuant to 23 V.S.A. § 3029.

Sec. 39. 23 V.S.A. § 3102(a) and (b) are amended to read:

(a) Before commencing business, on application, a distributor shall first procure a license from the commissioner of motor vehicles permitting him or her to continue or to engage as a distributor. Before the commissioner issues a license, the distributor shall file with the commissioner a surety bond in a sum and form and with sureties as the commissioner may require in a sum not to*[ ]*exceed *[$100,000.00]* $400,000.00 conditioned upon the issuance of the report, the payment of the tax and penalties and fines provided in this subchapter. Upon approval of the application and bond, the commissioner shall issue to the distributor a nonassignable license which shall continue in force until surrendered or revoked.

(b) The amount of the surety bonds required shall be reviewed annually in November. The minimum amount required shall be the sum of the highest two months' payment during the preceding year or $1,000.00, whichever is greater,*[ ]*but in no case shall it exceed *[$100,000.00]* $400,000.00. For new licenses, the bond amount shall be based on an estimate of the tax liability for a two-month period.

Sec. 40. 23 V.S.A. § 3031 is added to read:

§ 3031. LIEN FEES

Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 502, the commissioner may charge against any collection of liability any related lien filing fees specified in subdivision 1671(a)(6) or subsection 1671(c) of Title 32 paid by the commissioner. Fees collected under this section shall be credited to a special fund established and managed pursuant to chapter 7, subchapter 5 of Title 32, and shall be available as payment for the fees of the clerk of the municipality.

Sec. 41. 23 V.S.A. § 3116 is added to read:

§ 3116. PROCEEDINGS TO RECOVER TAX

(a) Whenever any person fails to pay any tax, penalty or interest under this title, the attorney general shall, upon the request of the commissioner, enforce the payment on behalf of the state in any court of the state or of any other state of the United States or of any province of Canada.

(b) The remedy for the collection of taxes provided by section 9811(b) of Title 32, shall be available to the commissioner as an additional or alternate remedy and the commissioner may issue a warrant directed to an enforcement officer who may exercise throughout the state the same powers granted to a sheriff in his or her county.

(c) The commissioner is authorized to contract with private collection agencies for collection of tax penalties and interest imposed on persons who have failed to pay after reasonable notification of the debt. The commissioner may agree to pay collection agencies a fixed rate for services rendered or a percentage of the amount actually collected by the agencies and remitted to the state. Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 502, the commissioner may charge against the collections an agreed-upon fixed rate or percentage of collections.

Sec. 42. 23 V.S.A. § 3117 is added to read:

§ 3117. BOND REQUIREMENT; AMOUNT; FAILURE OF SECURITY

(a) Notwithstanding any language in section 3102 of this title to the contrary, when the commissioner deems it necessary to protect the revenues to be obtained under this subchapter, he or she may require a licensee to file with him or her a bond, issued by a surety company authorized to transact business in this state and approved by the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration of this state as to solvency and responsibility, in an amount fixed by the commissioner, but not to exceed the total potential liability of such person, to secure the payment of any tax or penalties or interest due or which may become due from a licensee under this subchapter. In the event that the commissioner determines that such person is to file a bond, the commissioner shall give notice to such person to that effect, specifying the amount of the bond required. That person shall file a bond within 15 days after the giving of the notice unless within those 15 days he or she shall request in writing a hearing before the commissioner at which the necessity, propriety and amount of the bond shall be determined by the commissioner. The determination shall be final and shall be complied with within 15 days after the giving of notice thereof. In lieu of a bond, securities approved by the commissioner or cash in such amount as the commissioner may prescribe may be deposited, which shall be kept in the custody of the state treasurer who may at any time upon instructions from the commissioner without notice to the depositor apply them to any tax or interest or penalties due, and for that purpose the securities may be sold by the commissioner at public or private sale without notice to the depositor thereof.

(b) The total amount of the bond required of a licensee may be fixed by the commissioner and may be increased or decreased by him or her at any time subject to the limitations imposed by this section.

(c) If the liability upon a bond filed by a licensee with the commissioner becomes discharged or reduced, whether by judgment rendered, payment made or otherwise, or if in the opinion of the commissioner any surety on a bond has become unsatisfactory or unacceptable, the commissioner shall require the licensee to file a new bond with satisfactory sureties in the same amount and, upon failure to do so, the commissioner shall forthwith revoke the license.

(d) If a licensee fails or refuses to increase the amount of a bond or file a bond as required by the commissioner within 15 days after notice mailed to him or her, such license shall be revoked forthwith.

Sec. 43. 23 V.S.A. § 3118 is added to read:

§ 3118. BULK SALES; TRANSFEREE LIABILITY

(a) Whenever a licensee(transferor) required to collect and remit the tax required by this subchapter shall make any sale, transfer, lease or assignment (transfer) in bulk of any part or the whole of the assets of a business, otherwise than in the ordinary course of the business, the purchaser, transferee, lessee or assignee (transferee) shall, at least ten days before taking possession of the subject of the transfer or before payment therefor if earlier, notify the commissioner in writing of the proposed transfer and of the price, and date thereof; and whether or not the transferor has represented to, or has informed the transferee that the transferor owes any tax, interest or penalties required by this subchapter and whether or not the transferee has knowledge that such taxes, interest or penalties are owed, and whether any taxes, interest or penalties are in fact owed.

(b) Whenever the transferee shall fail to give notice to the commissioner as required by subsection (a) of this section, or whenever the commissioner shall inform the transferee that a possible claim for tax, interest or penalty exists, any sums of money, property or choses in action, or other consideration, which the transferee is required to transfer over to or for the transferor shall be subject to a first priority right and lien for any taxes, interest or penalty theretofore or thereafter determined to be due from the transferor to the state, and the transferee is forbidden to transfer the consideration to or for the transferor to the extent of the amount of the state's claim.

(c) For failure to comply with this section, the transferee shall be personally liable to the state for the amount of the state's claim theretofore or thereafter determined to be due to the state from the transferor and the liability may be assessed and enforced against the transferee in the same manner as provided for by this chapter against the transferor.

Sec. 44. 23 V.S.A. § 3119 is added to read:

§ 3119. PERSONAL LIABILITY

Any licensee who fails to collect the tax required by this subchapter or to pay it to the commissioner in the manner required by this subchapter shall be personally and individually liable for the amount of such tax and any interest and penalty assessed thereon pursuant to sections 3110 and 3111 of this title; and if the licensee is a corporation or other entity, the personal liability shall extend and be applicable to any officer or agent of the corporation or entity who as an officer or agent of the same is under a duty to collect the tax and pay it to the commissioner as required in this subchapter.

Sec. 45. 23 V.S.A. § 3120 is added to read:

§ 3120. TAX LIABILITY AS PROPERTY LIEN; DISCHARGE AND

FORECLOSURE

(a) If any licensee required to pay the tax under this subchapter neglects or refuses to pay the same after demand is made by the commissioner, the amount, together with all penalties and interest provided for in this subchapter and together with any costs that may accrue in addition thereto, shall be a lien in favor of the state of Vermont upon all property and rights to property, whether real or personal, belonging to such licensee. Such lien shall arise at the time demand is made by the commissioner and shall continue until the liability for such sum with interest and costs is satisfied or becomes unenforceable. Such lien shall have the same force and effect as the lien provided for in 32 V.S.A. § 5895, and notice of such lien shall be recorded as is provided in said section.

(b) Release and foreclosure of the lien shall be as provided in 32 V.S.A. § 5895(b) and (c).

(c) This section shall also apply to any officer or agent found personally liable under section 3119 of this title.

Sec. 46. 23 V.S.A. § 3121 is added to read:

§ 3121. LIEN FILING FEES

Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 502, the commissioner may charge against any collection of liability any related lien filing fees specified in subdivision 1671(a)(6) or subsection 1671(c) of this title paid by the commissioner. Fees collected under this section shall be credited to a special fund established and managed pursuant to chapter 7, subchapter 5 of this title, and shall be available as payment for the fees of the clerk of the municipality.

Two-Year Registration Refund Provisions

Sec. 47. MOTOR VEHICLE; DIESEL REGISTRATION; REFUNDS

Any person who has a diesel powered pleasure car that has been registered

for a two-year period pursuant to section 361 of Title 23 and whose registration has a full year of validity remaining on the effective date of this act shall be entitled to a refund of $30.00.

Approved: May 29, 2000