FISCAL NOTE

Date Requested: January 10, 2018
Time Requested: 02:52 PM
Agency: Natural Resources, WV Division of
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
1363 Introduced SB108
CBD Subject:


FUND(S):

3200,8707,3265

Sources of Revenue:

Special Fund

Legislation creates:





Fiscal Note Summary


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


    One purpose of this bill is to exempt volunteer firefighters from purchasing hunting, fishing and trapping licenses.
    If this bill were to become law, volunteer firefighters certified by an acting fire chief would receive free hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges while carrying a valid credential within the state.
    
    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 $114,251 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 $161,933 in lost revenue each year.
    
    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 free license.
    
    Approximately 5.6% of West Virginia residents last year stayed in a state park lodge and 2.8% of West Virginia residents last year stayed in a state park cabin. In West Virginia, there are approximately 12,042 volunteer firefighters. It would be logical to assume, therefore, that 671 volunteer firefighters already visit and stay in a state park lodge and approximately 333 in state park cabins.
    
    Providing a 25% discount to these existing visitors would cost the agency $62,261 (based on average daily rates of cabins and lodges), due to loss of revenue from existing sales.
    



Fiscal Note Detail


Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2018
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2019
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 -224,194 -224,194 -224,194


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


    Volunteer Firefighters in West Virginia
    Given:
    Number of West Virginia Volunteer Firefighters 12,042
    Resident Participation Rate in Hunting and Fishing 22%
    Average license revenue per licensed resident $43.13
    
    Estimated number of WV Volunteer Firefighters that hunt and fish
    (= 12,042 x 22%) 2,649
    
    Estimated license revenue loss = 2,649 X $43.13 = $114,251.37
    Federal Aid received per hunter $18
    Estimated loss of Federal Funds = 2,649 X $18 = $47,682.00
    Total loss revenue = $114,251.37 + $47,682 = $161,933.37
    
    25% State Park discount total lost revenue $62,261
    
    Total Lost Revenue 161,933.37 + 62,261 = 224,194.37



Memorandum


    
    For this Fiscal Note 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.
    
    
    
    



    Person submitting Fiscal Note: Zack Brown, Sam England
    Email Address: zack.j.brown@wv.gov