Virginia's Tobacco Farmers Eligible for Payments
RICHMOND, Nov. 1 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Virginia Tobacco Trust Certification Board Inc. announced today that Chase Manhattan Bank
has mailed more than 17,500 applications to the operators of Virginia's tobacco farms.
Under the National Tobacco Grower Settlement Trust (Phase II), burley and flue-cured tobacco quota owners and producers are eligible to receive a share of the $25 million allocated to Virginia this year.
"The Virginia board is making every effort to ensure that eligible Virginia tobacco farmers receive a payment in 1999," said Scott Oostdyk, of McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe LLP, the board's counsel.
In order to accomplish this goal, the schedule for completing the application is very tight. Applications must be postmarked by Nov. 19, and payment to quota owners and producers is projected to begin Dec. 31.
The private settlement between the tobacco growing states and major cigarette manufacturers will provide nearly $340 million in aid over the next twelve years to Virginia tobacco quota owners
and producers. The Phase II settlement was reached July 19, 1999, and Gov. Gilmore appointed the 14-member board July 30. The Board approved a payment process on September 30. Several other
eligible states have decided not to attempt an application process for a 1999 payment because they were unable to establish a process in time to make payments this year.
"We're encouraging operators, quota owners and producers to work together and get these applications in as soon as possible," said Oostdyk. "Quota owners throughout Virginia should contact
their farm operators so that they can get their share of the trust fund." There are many quota owners who do not live in Virginia's tobacco production areas but need to be aware of the payment
Public information meetings are being held throughout Southside and southwest Virginia this week to assist producers and quota owners with the application process. Quota owners and producers can also call Chase Manhattan Bank at 1-800-736-7197, a toll free application assistance hotline.
The board has retained McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe LLP to provide legal counsel and Chase Manhattan Bank to process and disburse funds.