Date Requested: January 16, 2015
Time Requested: 10:57 AM
Agency: Natural Resources, Division of
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
1861 Introduced HB2018
CBD Subject: Natural Resources


FUND(S):

3200

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 nonresidents who were born in West Virginia to purchase nonresident hunting and fishing licenses at a 50% discount to standard fees for nonresident sportsmen. If the bill were to become law, an estimated 14,803 currently licensed individuals could take advantage of this discount. At current license fees, each nonresident licenseholder contributes an average of $105.05 to the hunting and fishing license fund. The fiscal impact of providing discounted hunting and fishing privileges to these 14,803 individuals would be to decrease hunting and fishing license revenue to the Division of Natural Resources’ Wildlife and Law Enforcement programs by an estimated $777,501 annually. In the future, that loss could increase by an estimated $271,554 each year as a result of normal out-migration of West Virginia natives that hunt and fish. Finally, passage of the bill would require the Division to validate each buyer’s birth certificate, maintain those records for future purchases, and hand-process the license applications, thus increasing the Division’s operating costs by an estimated $148,025 annually at a time when the agency has moved to a modernized, electronic licensing system. 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 the agency’s wildlife and law enforcement programs, including those who are not fully 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. This bill would increase the number of sportsmen who will not purchase a full-fee license, thus increasing the financial responsibility on fully-paid licenseholders for providing agency services to all. Current fees for nonresident licenses in West Virginia, including a $16 Junior Sportsman License, are already among the lowest in the nation. More free or discounted hunting and fishing license privileges for some must inevitably result in higher license fees for others, thereby reducing participation and economic impact from sportsman expenditures in the state.



Fiscal Note Detail


Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2015
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2016
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 148,025 148,025
Personal Services 0 138,025 138,025
Current Expenses 0 0 0
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 -777,501 -1,049,055


Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):


    Est. annual license revenue per licensed nonresident sportsman=$105.05
    Est. annual license revenue loss from 50% discount=14,803X$105.05X50%=$777,501
    Est. annual out-migration of native-born sportsmen=5,170
    Est. annual revenue loss from 5,170 out-migrating, native-born sportsmen=5,170X$105.05X50%=$271,554
    $148,025 cost increase for birth-certificate validation and record-keeping
    



Memorandum


    
    
    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 the agency’s wildlife and law enforcement programs, including those who are not fully 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. This bill would increase the number of sportsmen who will not purchase a full-fee license, thus increasing the financial responsibility on fully-paid licenseholders for providing agency services to all. Current fees for nonresident licenses in West Virginia, including a $16 Junior Sportsman License, are already among the lowest in the nation. More free or discounted hunting and fishing license privileges for some must inevitably result in higher license fees for others, thereby reducing participation and economic impact from sportsman expenditures in the state.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    



    Person submitting Fiscal Note: Steve Brown
    Email Address: Walter.S.Brown@wv.gov