FISCAL NOTE

Date Requested: January 22, 2020
Time Requested: 01:05 PM
Agency: Natural Resources, WV Division of
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
2321 Introduced HB4456
CBD Subject: Natural Resources


FUND(S):

License Fund and Federal Funds

Sources of Revenue:

Special Fund

Legislation creates:

Decreases Existing Revenue



Fiscal Note Summary


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


    The purpose of this bill is to allow a member of a volunteer fire department to purchase a resident lifetime license for 50 percent of the applicable license fee amount. To be eligible for this discount, volunteer firefighters must be certified by their fire chief. Lifetime license fees are deposited into the Endowment Fund account managed by the West Virginia Investment Management Board. Only interest generated by the account principle is available for use by the DNR.
    
    Out of the approximate 12,042 volunteer firefighters in West Virginia, we estimate at least 2,649 would be eligible to take advantage of this discount. The DNR estimates an annual reduction of $46,357 of hunting and fishing license operating revenue will be lost by providing this discount. The actual fiscal impact is unknown because the interest accrued for use is determined by the performance of the principle amount managed by the Investment Management Board.
    
    An additional one-time cost of approximately $1,000 would be incurred as we anticipate the need to reprogram the Electronic License System.
    



Fiscal Note Detail


Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2020
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2021
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 -1,000 0
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 0 0
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 -1,000 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 -47,357 -46,357


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


    Given:
    
    Number of West Virginia Volunteer Firefighters 12,042
    Source: Compiled from www.firedepartment.net/directory/west-virginia
    
    Participation Rate in Hunting and Fishing 22%
    Source: US Fish and Wildlife Survey 2011 for West Virginia
    
    Average license revenue for resident hunters $44.22
    Source: 2018 WVDNR ELS License Sales
    
    Estimated number of WV Volunteer Firefighters that are eligible for discount license (= 12,042 x 22%) 2,649
    
    Current price of Class X (Sportsman's License) $35
    
    Estimated license revenue generated by WV Volunteer Firefighters = 2,649 X $35. = $92,715
    
    Current price AB-L license (valued at 23 times Class X license) $805
    
    Estimated revenue of lifetime license at 50% price = 2,649 X $402.50 $1,066,223
    
    Annual Revenue equivalent of lifetime license ($1,066,223/23 years) $46,358
    
    Estimated annual loss due to discount license $46,357
    
    Estimated cost to reprogram Electronic License System $1,000



Memorandum


    Residency of the Volunteer Firefighter should be addressed. These calculations assume that the intention of the bill is to only allow West Virginia resident volunteer firefighters to be eligible. If non-resident volunteer firefighters are eligible then the estimated cost to the agency would increase substantially and this would create a method for non-residents to obtain resident lifetime licenses.
    
    The potential for abuse of this benefit is not addressed in the bill. There is nothing preventing a person from joining a Volunteer Fire Department and then quitting once they obtain their lifetime license. North Carolina has a provision for Volunteer Fire Fighters to get this same benefit after they have been on the certified roster of the North Carolina State Firefighters’ Association for five consecutive years.
    
    
    For additional questions, please contact Zack Brown at Zack.J.Brown@wv.gov or 304-558-2771.



    Person submitting Fiscal Note: Amanda Morris
    Email Address: amanda.l.morris@wv.gov