Date Requested:March 04, 2009
Time Requested:03:27 PM
Agency: Forestry, Division of
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
2009R2554 Introduced HB2931
CBD Subject: TIMBER SEVERANCE TAX SUSPENDED
FUND(S)
3084
Sources of Revenue
Special Fund
Legislation creates:
Neither Program nor Fund

Fiscal Note Summary

Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.

    The Severance Tax Operations Fund provides approximately 25% of the total expenditures of the Division.
    
    The impact for FY2010 and beyond: Unless we receive General Revenue to make up for the $1.9 million spent annually in Severance Tax funds, we will not be able to purchase any vehicles, we would have to shut down all the offices except the State Headquarters, and we would have to lay off 30 FTE for the LSCA program and would no longer be able to regulate logging and water quality as required by WV Code.
    

Fiscal Note Detail
Over-all effect
Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2009
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2010
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 -230,000 -4,473,000
Personal Services 0 0 -2,300,000
Current Expenses 0 -25,000 -1,500,000
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 -17,000
Assets 0 -205,000 -633,000
Other 0 0 -23,000
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 -1,300,000 -3,300,000
3. Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):
    At the end of FY2011, with the Severance Tax Fund balance near zero, all employees (30 FTE) for the LSCA Program would be laid off, and the Division would no longer be able to regulate logging and water quality as required by WV Code 19:1B.
    
    Additionally, in FY2010 we would begin closing all offices with the exception of the state headquarters.
    
    The Division would be forced to end the payment to volunteer firefighters and VFDs for their time and equipment use in the suppression of forest fires, thereby increasing the time, cost, and hazards for Division employees fighting the fires on the ground.
    
    Beginning in FY2010, the Division would be forced to suspend regular replacement of its vehicle fleet. While this would result in an immediate estimated savings of $838,000 in FY2010-2013, this short-term savings would be offset by higher repair and maintenance costs on the aging fleet.
    
    An estimated $3.3 million in Severance Tax revenue would be lost in FY2011-2013; this would be in addition to the estimated $1.3 million lost in FY2010.


Memorandum
Person submitting Fiscal Note:
Scott Fairchild
Email Address:
M.Scott.Fairchild@WV.gov
    Passage of this bill will result in the elimination of the funding source for the LSCA program, a regulatory function mandated by WV Code.
    
    It will also result in the elimination of direct services to the public, as offices are closed statewide.