Settlement Payments for Georgia Tobacco Farmers Released
|Friday, December 2, 2005||
Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774
ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue, chair of the Georgia Tobacco Community Development Board, announced today that approximately $25 million in delayed Phase II Tobacco Settlement Payments were mailed on November 30, 2005, to tobacco growers and quota holders.
“Eligible tobacco growers and quota holders in Georgia should check their mailboxes for their tobacco settlement payment. After a year of court proceedings, the farmers of our state are finally getting these much needed funds,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.
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 Nov 10, 2005, the tobacco companies agreed with the court's ruling to pay all four quarter payments with interest.
Governor Perdue worked with the Georgia congressional delegation to ensure tobacco farmers secured a tobacco buyout. The passage of the tobacco buyout legislation in October of 2004 eliminated future Phase II payments. The Georgia Tobacco Community Development Board's office in Tifton will remain open through June 30, 2006, to ensure that all tobacco farmers get this final payment.
The settlement payments are a result of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement signed by 46 states and the nation's four largest tobacco companies.
For more information or assistance, please call Donnie Smith , Governor Perdue's agriculture liaison, at (229) 391-5162.