FISCAL NOTE

Date Requested: January 10, 2020
Time Requested: 04:01 PM
Agency: Natural Resources, WV Division of
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
1279 Introduced SB185
CBD Subject: Natural Resources


FUND(S):

Wildlife Resources License Fund and Federal Funds

Sources of Revenue:

Special Fund

Legislation creates:

Decreases Existing Revenue, Increases Existing Expenses



Fiscal Note Summary


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


    The purpose of this bill is to exempt volunteer firefighters from fees associated with hunting, fishing and trapping licenses. If this bill were to become law, volunteer firefighters certified by their fire chief would receive a waiver of fees associated with hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges.
    
    Out of the approximate 12,042 volunteer firefighters in West Virginia, we estimate at least 2,649 would take advantage of this benefit. The DNR estimates at least $117,139 of hunting and fishing license revenue will be lost due to providing these free privileges. Additionally, approximately $47,682 of Federal Aid reimbursement will be lost due to the reduction in hunter license sales. This would result in an expected grand total of $164,821 in lost revenue each year.
    
    Additional cost would be incurred as we anticipate that we would need reprogram the Electronic License System and hire at least one permanent full time worker to process the waivers created by this law.
    
    The anticipated reduction in revenue will result in the need to reduce the number of Natural Resource Police Officers by at least 1 full time officer. It is anticipated that the amount of revenue reduction will increase greater than the rate of inflation as more people take advantage of the license fee waiver.
    



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 -164,821 -164,821
Personal Services 0 -32,200 -32,200
Current Expenses 0 0 0
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 -25,000 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 -222,021 -197,021


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


    Given: Source:
    Number of West Virginia Volunteer Firefighters 12,042 Compiled from www.firedepartment.net/directory/west-virginia
    
    Resident Participation Rate in Hunting and Fishing 22% US Fish and Wildlife Survey 2011 for West Virginia
    
    Average license revenue per licensed resident $44.22 2016 WVDNR ELS License Sales
    
    Estimated number of WV Volunteer Firefighters that hunt and fish (= 12,042 x 22%) 2,649
    
    Estimated license revenue loss = 2,649 X $44.22 = $117,139
    
    Federal Aid received per hunter $18 US Fish and Wildlife Service
    
    Estimated loss of Federal Funds = 2,649 X $18 = $47,682
    
    Total loss revenue = $117,139 + $47,682 = $164,821
    
    Estimated salary plus benefits of 1 full time worker to process and maintain records of fee waivers $32,200
    
    Estimated cost to reprogram Electronic License System $25,000
    
    



Memorandum


    We have assumed that the intention of the bill is to only allow resident volunteer firefighters to be eligible. If non-resident volunteer firefighters are eligible then the estimated cost to the agency would increase substantially.
    
    
    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 are exempt from purchasing 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 questions, please contact Zack Brown at Zack.J.Brown@wv.gov or 304-558-2771.



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