119-63.4. Referendum.

(a) The Foundation may from time to time conduct referenda among dealers and distributors in this State upon the question of whether an assessment shall be levied on propane sold in this State.

(b) The Foundation, upon prior consultation with the Association, shall determine:

(1) The amount of the proposed assessment.

(2) The time and place of the referendum.

(3) Procedures for conducting the referendum and counting of votes.

(4) The proposed effective date for the imposition of the assessment, which shall not be less than 180 days from the date the referendum ballot is required to be returned to the Foundation in order to be considered on the question presented.

(5) Any other matters pertaining to the referendum.

(c) The amount of the proposed assessment shall be stated on the referendum ballot. The amount may not exceed the maximum allowable rate of two-tenths of one cent ($.002) for each gallon of propane sold in this State by distributors to dealers.

(d) All dealers and distributors may vote in the referendum. Each distributor and each dealer shall have one vote regardless of the number of bulk plants or retail sales outlets owned. Any dispute over eligibility to vote or any other matter relating to the referendum shall be resolved by the Foundation. The Foundation shall make reasonable efforts to provide all dealers and distributors with notice of the referendum and an opportunity to vote.

(e) Prior to conducting any referenda, the Foundation shall request a list of dealers and their addresses from the Department, and the Department shall provide such information to the Foundation. In order to be eligible to vote, a distributor shall provide the Foundation with a written statement signed by an authorized individual containing its corporate name, address, and the individual authorized to cast a ballot on its behalf, which statement shall be effective until revoked or modified in like manner.

(f) A proposed assessment shall become effective if more than fifty percent (50%) of the eligible votes cast by dealers in the referendum are cast in favor of the assessment and if more than fifty percent (50%) of the eligible votes cast by distributors in the referendum are cast in favor of the assessment. If the assessment is approved by the referendum, then the Foundation shall notify the Department and the Association of the amount of the assessment and the effective date of the assessment. The Department shall notify all distributors and dealers of the assessment. (2013-299, s. 1.)