SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

The Nation

March 30, 2011

Proposal to tax Calif. beekeepers stirs up swarm

(Continued)

FRESNO, Calif. —

He also thought it would be difficult to track down beekeepers subject to the tax. Although they are supposed to register with their county or agricultural inspection stations at the state border, that doesn't always happen, he said.

The American Beekeeping Foundation did not endorse the proposal at its national conference in January, Mendes said. Some members were concerned the money would be swallowed up by the state of California, while others worried other states would respond by imposing similar taxes.

Beekeepers already feel California is not friendly to the industry, Mendes said, because it instituted a 7 percent franchise tax last year, which out-of-state beekeepers must pay on their pollination income.

But Pendell said this commission would be different: It would be made up of beekeepers, who would control its expenses, and its board would set the assessment rate each year.

Any beekeeper with more than 50 colonies who does business in California can register until the end of May to vote in the referendum.

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