Date Requested:January 09, 2014
Time Requested:03:43 PM
Agency: Natural Resources, Division of
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
2014R1254 Introduced SB243
CBD Subject: REINTRO2013-161ONE-TIME FEE
FUND(S)
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 purpose of this bill is to allow active and retired members of the West Virginia National Guard and Reserve and honorably discharged veterans to obtain a reduced-fee lifetime hunting and fishing license (not including stamps). The proposed fees for these lifetime licenses are $100 for a resident and $125 for a nonresident. Currently the fee for a comparable lifetime license is $805 for a resident; lifetime licenses are not currently available to nonresidents. The Division of Natural Resources estimates that 50,446 residents and 8,107 nonresidents, or 58,553 individuals in total, meeting these military qualifications are currently purchasing annual hunting and fishing licenses in West Virginia. That is approximately 21 percent of all license buyers. At current fees, each resident licenseholder contributes approximately $29.07 annually in base license revenue (not including stamps); each nonresident licenseholder contributes $65.59 annually in base license revenue (not including stamps). The estimated annual base license revenue currently contributed by these 58,553 individuals is $1,997,987. That revenue will be lost if the bill is passed. Were these individuals to then purchase the proposed, reduced-fee lifetime licenses, those purchases would generate $6,057,925 in revenue which would be retained and invested to generate annual revenue, in the same manner as other lifetime license fees. The estimated annual revenue from that investment would be $302,896. Thus, the net loss of annual license revenue would be $1,695,091. Because these individuals and future members of the armed forces would possess a lifetime license (making them immune to inflation-indexed annual fee increases), the projected revenue losses to the State would increase in future years at a rate even greater than the inflation rate. Over 35 years, the estimated loss of operating revenue to the agency would exceed $100 million. The loss of these individuals as fully-paid licenseholders would also reduce the State’s ability to capture federal aid revenue by an additional $1,053,946 annually, resulting in an estimated total revenue loss of $2,749,037 annually. Issuing Class C licenses to these individuals would also increase agency costs by an estimated $30,000 annually. License revenue and federal aid provide the bulk of the operating and capital improvements revenue for the agency’s wildlife and law enforcement programs. By law, all hunters and anglers in West Virginia must be served by those programs, including those who are not paid licenseholders. Currently, the agency estimates that 43 percent of all hunters and anglers do not purchase a hunting or fishing license, thus placing the total financial responsibility for supporting wildlife and law enforcement programs on those who do purchase licenses. Although this bill does not propose to grant free hunting and fishing privileges, it does propose discounted fees that will generate insufficient operating revenue for the agency to properly serve these individuals and all other sportsmen. Finally, any reduction in the number of fully-paid licenseholders hurts the agency’s ability to secure federal aid revenues that are used to help keep license fees low for everyone. More free or reduced-fee hunting and fishing license privileges for some must inevitably result in increased license fees for others, thereby reducing participation and economic impact from sportsman expenditures in the state.
    
    

Fiscal Note Detail
Over-all effect
Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2014
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2015
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 15,000 30,000
Personal Services 0 7,500 15,000
Current Expenses 0 7,500 15,000
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 -1,374,519 -2,749,037
3. Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):
    Data and Sources
    646,000 adult males in WV population (US Bureau of Census)
    818,000 adult females in WV population (US Bureau of Census)
    114,705,000 adult males in US population (US Bureau of Census)
    124,608,000 adult females in US population (US Bureau of Census)
    166,426 male veterans in WV population (US Dept. of Veterans Affairs)
    15,771 female veterans in WV population (US Dept. of Veterans Affairs)
    182,197 veterans in WV population (US Dept. of Veterans Affairs)
    20,861,300 male veterans in US population (US Dept. of Veterans Affairs)
    1,838,700 female veterans in US population (US Dept. of Veterans Affairs)
    22,700,000 total veterans in US population (US Dept. of Veterans Affairs)
    219,810 resident hunting and fishing license buyers (WVDNR Annual Report)
    57,784 nonresident license buyers (WVDNR Annual Report)
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    


Memorandum
Person submitting Fiscal Note:
Steve Brown
Email Address:
Walter.S.Brown@wv.gov
    The bill contains contradictory language regarding the proposed fee for these lifetime licenses. In the same sentence, it specifies both that the license will be free and that it will be $100 for residents and $125 for nonresidents. The fiscal note was written in accordance with the stated purpose of the bill. If the license is indeed to be free, then the estimated annual revenue loss to the State would be greater.
    
    By law, all hunters and anglers in West Virginia must be served by those programs, including those who are not paid licenseholders. Currently, the agency estimates that 43 percent of all hunters and anglers do not purchase a hunting or fishing license, thus placing the total financial responsibility for supporting wildlife and law enforcement programs on those who do purchase licenses. Although this bill does not propose to grant free hunting and fishing privileges, it does propose discounted fees that will generate insufficient operating revenue for the agency to properly serve these individuals and all other sportsmen. Finally, any reduction in the number of fully-paid licenseholders hurts the agency’s ability to secure federal aid revenues that are used to help keep license fees low for everyone. More free or reduced-fee hunting and fishing license privileges for some must inevitably result in increased license fees for others, thereby reducing participation and economic impact from sportsman expenditures in the state.