Introduced by Representatives Pellett of Chester, Obuchowski of Rockingham, Atkins of Winooski, Barnard of Richmond, Bohi of Hartford, Darrow of Dummerston, Deen of Westminster, Klein of East Montpelier, McCullough of Williston, Molloy of Arlington, Shand of Weathersfield and Sweaney of Windsor
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to increase to eight cents per container the reimbursement fee paid to a retailer or redemption center by a manufacturer or distributor of a beverage container that is subject to the state’s redeemable beverage container law. It proposes to further increase that fee to nine cents per container, effective in 2009. It also proposes to provide that deposits paid on containers that are not redeemed shall become the property of the state, to be expended as is the solid waste management assistance account of the waste management assistance fund.
AN ACT RELATING TO THE BEVERAGE CONTAINER REIMBURSEMENT FEE AND BEVERAGE CONTAINER DEPOSITS THAT ARE NOT COLLECTED BY A CONSUMER
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. § 1522 is amended to read:
§ 1522. BEVERAGE CONTAINERS; DEPOSIT
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retailer or a person operating a redemption center who redeems beverage
containers shall be reimbursed by the manufacturer or distributor of such
beverage containers in an amount which is at least the greater of
cents per container or twenty 20 percent of the amount of the
deposit returned to the consumer.
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(e) The deposit established by subsection (a) of this section is the property of the consumer who purchases a beverage container. The deposit is held in trust by the manufacturer or distributor for the consumer or for the state if the deposit is abandoned by the consumer.
(f) Each distributor and manufacturer shall maintain an escrow account, known as the deposit transaction account, for the collection and distribution of beverage container deposits collected pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. Funds deposited in the deposit transaction account may not be used for any purpose not expressly authorized by this chapter.
Sec. 2. 10 V.S.A. § 1528 is added to read:
§ 1528. ABANDONED DEPOSITS; BEVERAGE REDEMPTION FUND;
REPORTS AND PAYMENTS
Deposits are presumed to be abandoned when retained by a manufacturer or distributor for 90 days after being collected during any three-month period ending on the last day of March, June, September, or December, the 90 days commencing to run at the end of the period during which a deposit is collected. Initiators of deposits pursuant to subsection 1522(a) of this title must report deposit‑related activity and disburse abandoned deposits in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(1) Reports. Each manufacturer or distributor must report to the secretary on or before the 20th day of June, September, December, and March the total amount of deposits paid to, refunds paid from, and income earned on its deposit transaction account for the previous three-month period ending the last day of March, June, September, or December. In separate categories within the report, it shall specify the refilled bottles sold and returned.
(2) Beverage redemption fund created. There is created in the state treasury a fund to be known as the “fund”, to be expended by the secretary of the agency of natural resources for purposes specified in the solid waste management assistance account of the waste management assistance fund established under section 6618 of this title. The fund shall consist of abandoned beverage container deposits remitted under this section and deposited into the fund by the secretary of natural resources, together with any appropriations of the general assembly. All balances in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and remain a part of the fund. Interest earned by the fund shall be deposited into the fund. Disbursements from the fund shall be made by the state treasurer on warrants drawn by the commissioner of finance and management.
(3) Abandoned deposits. On or before the 20th day of June, September, December, and March, each manufacturer or distributor shall remit to the secretary the total amount of abandoned deposits collected during the previous three-month period ending on the last day of March, June, September, or December.
(4) Reimbursements. When a deposit initiator pays out more in refund values than it collects in deposits during the course of a calendar year, the deposit initiator may apply to the state treasurer for a reimbursement from the beverage redemption fund in an amount equal to the amount of over-redeemed deposits. The treasurer shall reimburse documented claims of over-redeemed deposits.
Sec. 3. DELAYED INCREASE IN REIMBURSEMENT RATE
Effective July 1, 2008, the minimum reimbursement rate established in
Sec. 1 of this act, 10 V.S.A. § 1522(b), shall be increased to nine cents per container.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street