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While you're correct in that no tax, fee or license shall be imposed against a producer... that pertains merely to the production of fruits and vegetables:
3-563. Tax, license or fee against producers prohibited
A. No tax, license or fee shall be imposed, levied upon, demanded or collected from a producer for a sale of a food product as defined in this article, and no penalty or punishment shall be imposed on account of the sale, except for violation of laws providing for inspection.
B. A municipal ordinance which seeks to impose or subject a producer to a tax, license or fee shall be void, except that all such products in common with similar products offered for sale by persons not the producers thereof shall be subject to inspection. A municipal ordinance providing for inspection shall not be valid unless it applies in the same manner and terms to other persons offering similar products for sale.
For instance, if you did not ship, you could not be taxed, required a license, or assessed a fee, based upon that sale.
But as soon as you ship, that is different. They can require a license for shippers as defined under the law.
You could argue that your actions don't amount to "shipping":"12. "Shipper" means a person who ships, transports, sells or markets fruit or vegetables under the person's registered trademark or label or a person who first markets the fruit or vegetables on behalf of the producer. Shipper does not include a commission merchant." If you don't have a registered trademark or label, then it could only apply to a person who first markets the fruit or vegetables on behalf of the producer... You could argue (maybe not successfully) that this contemplates someone other person other than the producer, as it says "on behalf of" the producer. But it's also possible that they could determine that this "person" and the "producer" can be one in the same, and the fact that you're marketing the goods and shipping them, would make you qualify under that definition.
The "no tax, license or fee" provision in ARS 3-563 is pretty clear that it pertains to the sale of a food product, and not the shipping of one.
I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!
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