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Georgia Tobacco Farmers to Receive More than $18 Million in Tobacco Settlement Payments

Thursday, October 20, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA – The Georgia Tobacco Community Development Board, chaired by Governor Sonny Perdue, today approved the release of approximately $18.5 million in Phase II Tobacco Settlement Payments to tobacco growers and quota holders.

“Tobacco farmers are an important part of Georgia 's agricultural community and major contributors to our economy,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “I'm pleased that recent court decisions enable us to provide tobacco farmers the assistance they need.”

Georgia tobacco growers and quota holders were scheduled to receive approximately $24 million in Phase II Tobacco Settlement Payments in 2004.  Distribution of these funds was delayed when a lawsuit was filed to determine whether enactment of the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 relieved tobacco companies of their obligations to the Tobacco Grower Settlement Trust for 2004.  On October 5, 2005, the court ruled in favor of the tobacco farmers and directed the distribution of three quarterly payments for 2004. 

The settlement payments are a result of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement signed by 46 states and the nation's four largest tobacco companies.