USDA License Fees:
Analysis of the Solvency and Users of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Program
T-RCED-95-135, Mar 16, 1995
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Program, focusing on how: (1) changes in the program's revenues and expenditures may impact its future solvency; and (2) the fees that buyers and sellers pay into the program compare with their use of program services. GAO noted that: (1) the program's long-term solvency is at risk; (2) revenues have been and should remain sufficient to cover program expenditures through fiscal year (FY) 1995; (3) USDA will need to draw upon the program's reserves to cover program expenditures through FY 1998 because the current legislative ceiling prevents the program from collecting sufficient revenues to cover rising costs; (4) the reserves will carry the program through FY 1998, after which the reserves will essentially be depleted; and (5) during FY 1993, produce dealers contributed approximately 42 percent of the program's revenues but required up to 85 percent of the program's services, while retailers contributed approximately 34 percent of the revenues and required less than 7 percent of the program's services.