FISCAL NOTE

Date Requested: January 13, 2016
Time Requested: 05:39 PM
Agency: Natural Resources, Division of
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
1082 Introduced SB79
CBD Subject: Military and Veterans


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 members of the West Virginia National Guard to obtain free hunting and fishing licenses while serving in the West Virginia National Guard and upon full retirement, licenses for life. There are an estimated 7,000 Guard and Reserve members in West Virginia. An estimated 1,540 of these individuals would be of licensable age and would hunt and/or fish in West Virginia. At current license fees, each resident licenseholder contributes an average of $42.81 to the hunting and fishing license fund. The fiscal impact of providing free hunting and fishing privileges to these 1,540 individuals would be a decrease to hunting and fishing license revenue to the Division of Natural Resources’ Wildlife and Law Enforcement programs by an estimated $65,927 annually. Because these individuals and future members of the National Guard would then 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. The loss of these individuals as paid licenseholders would also reduce the State’s ability to capture federal aid revenue by an additional $17,640 annually, resulting in an estimated total revenue loss of $83,657 annually. Issuing Class C licenses to these individuals would also increase agency costs by an estimated $10,000 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 the agency’s wildlife and law enforcement 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. This bill would increase the number of sportsmen who will not purchase a license, thus increasing the financial responsibility on paid licenseholders for providing agency services to all. Finally, any reduction in 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 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
2016
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2017
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 5,000 10,000
Personal Services 0 2,500 5,000
Current Expenses 0 2,500 5,000
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 -41,783 -83,567


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


    Estimated number of Guard and Reserve members in West Virginia=7,000
    Est. WV participation rate in hunting and/or fishing=22%
    Est. # of licensable veterans who hunt and/or fish=7,000X22%=1,540
    Est. annual license revenue per licensed sportsman=$42.81
    Est. annual license revenue loss from 1,540 exemptions=1,540X$42.81=$65,927
    Est. annual federal aid revenue per licensed hunter=$16.65
    Est. WV participation rate in hunting=14%
    Est. # of veteran hunters=7,000X14%=980
    Est. annual federal aid revenue loss from 980 exemptions=980X$18=$17,640
    Est. annual license and federal aid revenue loss=$65,927+$17,640=$83,567
    



Memorandum


    
    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 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 license, thus increasing the financial responsibility on paid licenseholders for providing agency services to all. Finally, any reduction in 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 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: Randy Tucker
    Email Address: Randy.L.Tucker@wv.gov