FISCAL NOTE

Date Requested: February 08, 2017
Time Requested: 05:52 PM
Agency: Natural Resources, WV Division of
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
1322 Introduced HB2177
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 resident West Virginia Veterans or any member of any Reserve component to hunt or fish without obtaining a hunting and/or fishing license. There are an estimated 159,499 resident West Virginia Veterans. An estimated 35,089 of these individuals would be eligible to hunt and/or fish in West Virginia without purchasing a license. At current license fees, each resident license holder contributes an average of $43.31 to the hunting and fishing license fund. The fiscal impact of providing free hunting and fishing privileges to these 35,089 individuals would be to decrease hunting and fishing license revenue to the Division of Natural Resources’ Wildlife and Law Enforcement programs by an estimated $1,519,704 annually. Because these individuals and future members of the Armed Forces would then be exempt from an inflation-indexed annual fee increase, 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 license holders would also reduce the State’s ability to capture federal aid revenue by an additional $401,940 annually, resulting in an estimated total revenue loss of $1,921,644 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.



Fiscal Note Detail


Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2017
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2018
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 0 0
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 0 0
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 -1,921,644 -1,921,644


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


    Estimated number of Veterans in West Virginia=159,499
    Est. WV participation rate in hunting and/or fishing=22%
    Est. # of licensable veterans who hunt and/or fish=159,499 X 22%= 35,089
    Est. annual license revenue per licensed sportsman=$43.31
    Est. annual license revenue loss from 35,089 exemptions=35,089 X $43.31= $1,519,704
    Est. annual federal aid revenue per licensed hunter=$18.00
    Est. WV participation rate in hunting=14%
    Est. # of veteran hunters=159,499 X 14%=22,330
    Est. annual federal aid revenue loss from 22,330 exemptions=22,330 X $18=$ 401,940
    Est. annual license and federal aid revenue loss=$1,519,704+$ 401,940 = $1,921,644
    



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 license holders. 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 license holders for providing agency services to all. Finally, any reduction in paid license holders 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.
    
    
    
    
    For additional information concerning this fiscal note, please contact: Randy Tucker
    



    Person submitting Fiscal Note: Randy Tucker
    Email Address: randy.l.tucker@wv.gov