Presenter: Suzy Whittenton

Commission Agenda Item No. 8
Action
License Fees for Commercial Fisheries
April 2002

I. Discussion: Chapters 47, 66, 67, 76,77, and 78 of the Parks and Wildlife Code authorize the commission to set commercial fishing (including general, finfish, non-game species, oyster, shrimp, mussel and clam, and crab) license and related transfer and duplicate fees. A December 2000 report from the State Auditor’s Office (A Joint Report on the Parks and Wildlife Department’s Commercial Fisheries Program) found that the department is not… “recovering the full cost of administering certain revenue-generating programs related to commercial fisheries…”, and recommended that the department (1) determine whether the fee structure for commercial licenses is reasonable, and (2) make necessary recommendations to the Parks and Wildlife Commission for any fee increases. Based on the findings of this report, the 77th Legislature directed the department to “adjust rates charged for licenses in each of the Commercial Fisheries Programs accordingly as to provide funds necessary to recoup all department costs associated with management of each program” (2002-03 General Appropriations Act, Rider 22, Article VI, p. 36.)

In an effort to comply with these directives, staff initiated a review of commercial fishing license fees, focusing on cost allocation, fee structures, revenue, and options for potential changes. At the January 2002 commission meeting staff presented the findings of this review, which indicated that to achieve complete cost recovery, commercial license fees would need to be increased by more than 100%. Given the magnitude of increases required for full cost recovery, staff suggested a gradual approach starting with a 20% increase in fees. The committee authorized staff to publish the proposed changes in the Texas Register for public comment. The proposed rules appeared in the March 1, 2002 issue of the Texas Register.

As of this writing, comments on these proposals were still being received. Staff will present a summary of all public comments received at the time of the commission meeting.

PLEASE NOTE -- At the printing of this document, staff was in the process of reviewing comments and discussing the proposals with constituents. As a result of the comments and discussions, staff may present modifications to the proposals as originally drafted.

II. Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to 31 TAC 53.6 concerning Commercial Fishing Licenses and Tags, and 31 TAC 53.7 concerning Business Licenses and Permits, with changes to text as published in the March 1, 2002 issue of the Texas Register (27 TexReg 1461) .

Attachments – 2

1. Exhibit A – Proposed Rules
2. Exhibit B – Fiscal Note (Available upon request)


Commission Agenda Item No. 8
Exhibit A

Part 2. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Chapter 53. FINANCE

Subchapter A. LICENSE FEES AND BOAT AND MOTOR FEES

31 TAC §53.6, §53.7

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendments to §53.6, concerning Commercial Fishing Licenses and Tags, and §53.7, concerning Business Licenses and Permits. The amendments to §53.6 and 53.7 increase fee amounts for commercial fishing and business licenses and related transfers and duplicates, and make minor revisions to text for clean up, clarification and consistency. The amendments are necessary in order to: (1) comply with provisions of Senate Bill 1 (General Appropriations Act, Article VI, Rider 22) as enacted by the 77th Legislature, which direct the department to better recover costs associated with administering and managing its commercial fisheries programs; and (2) make clarifying revisions and ensure consistency with TPW statutes.

Suzy Whittenton, Chief Financial Officer, has determined that for each of the first five years the rules as proposed are in effect, there will be fiscal implications to state and local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the rules. For each of the first five years the rules are in effect, the department is estimated to receive approximately $663,000 in additional revenues from increased commercial fishing and business license fees (including general, crab, finfish, menhaden, oyster, shrimp, mussels, non-game fish, and dealers licenses) and associated transfers and duplicates. Note: A portion of the additional revenues generated from the proposed increases will be dedicated to license buyback programs, and will not be available for use on general program costs. This estimate was derived by multiplying the proposed fee increase for each type of license/permit by the number of anticipated transactions for each type of license/permit. The estimated number of transactions was determined based on an analysis of transactions from 1999-2001. The estimate (1) assumes that in each year subsequent to initial implementation, any changes in revenues (based on a continuation of identified trends in license and permit sales) will be insignificant. While there are indications that sales in some areas are declining, there have been increases in other areas, and overall the net effect of these trends appears to be minimal; and (2) has not been adjusted to reflect the 5% commission retained by license deputies. Because only a small percentage of commercial licenses are sold by license deputies, the dollar amount retained would be minimal.

Ms. Whittenton also has determined that for each of the first five years the rules as proposed are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rules as proposed will be increased program efficiency and greater correlation between user benefit and user pay as it applies to the commercial fisheries program. Those directly benefiting from the program will assume a larger share of program costs — the additional revenues generated from commercial/business licenses will be used to cover a larger portion of commercial fisheries program costs, thereby reducing the need to finance this program from revenues generated from recreational and other license users.

The rules are expected to have an economic effect on small and microbusinesses and individuals, namely in the amount of increased fees paid by any given business or individual. Most commercial license and business license fees, as well as transfer fees associated with crab, finfish, and bay and bait shrimp licenses will increase by 20%, with the exact dollar amount of increase varying depending on the type of license (ranging between $3 to $700 depending on type). Other transfer and duplicate fees will increase from $5 to $10.

The department has not drafted a local employment impact statement under the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rules.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Paul Hammerschmidt, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744, (512) 389-4650 (e-mail: paul.hammerschmidt@tpwd.state.tx.us).

The amendments are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §§47.002, 47.003,47.007,47.008, 47.009,47.010, 47.011, 47.013, 47.014, 47.017,47.031,47.075,47.079, which authorize the commission to set fees for commercial fishing licenses; 66.017 and 66.020, which authorize the commission to set fees for fish, shellfish and aquatic plant permits; 67.0041, which authorizes the commission to set fees for permits for non-game species of fish; 76.1031 and 76.104, which authorize the commission to set fees for commercial oyster licenses; 77.031, 77.033, 77.035, 77.0351,77.0361, 77.043 and 77.115, which authorize the commission to set fees for commercial shrimp licenses; 78.002 and 78.003, which authorize the commission to set fees for commercial mussel and clam licenses; and 78.105 and 78.109, which authorize the commission to set fees for commercial crab licenses.

The amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapters 47, 77, and 78.

§53.6.Commercial Fishing Licenses and Tags.

(a) Shrimping licenses: [ The following license fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 2001, and thereafter: ]

(1) Licenses:

(A) resident commercial gulf shrimp boat— $450 [ $375 ];

(B) resident commercial bay shrimp boat— $348 [ $290 ];

(C) resident commercial bait-shrimp boat— $348 [ $290 ];

(D) resident commercial shrimp boat captain's— $30 [ $25 ];

(E) nonresident commercial gulf shrimp boat— $1,350 [ $1,125 ];

(F) nonresident commercial bay shrimp boat— $750 [ $625 ];

(G) nonresident commercial bait-shrimp boat— $750 [ $625 ]; and

(H) nonresident commercial shrimp boat captain's— $120 [ $100 ].

(2) License transfers:

(A) resident commercial gulf shrimp boat license transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ];

(B) resident commercial bay shrimp boat license transfer— $348 [ $290 ];

(C) resident commercial bait-shrimp boat license transfer— $348 [ $290 ];

(D) nonresident commercial gulf shrimp boat license transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ];

(E) nonresident commercial bay shrimp boat license transfer— $750 [ $290 ]; and

(F) nonresident commercial bait-shrimp boat license transfer— $750 [ $290 ].

(3) Replacement [ Duplicate ] License plates:

(A) resident commercial gulf shrimp boat— $10 [ $5.00 ];

(B) resident commercial bay shrimp boat— $10 [ $5.00 ];

(C) resident commercial bait-shrimp boat— $10 [ $5.00 ];

(D) nonresident commercial gulf shrimp boat— $10 [ $5.00 ];

(E) nonresident commercial bay shrimp boat— $10 [ $5.00 ]; and

(F) nonresident commercial bait-shrimp boat— $10 [ $5.00 ].

(b) Oystering licenses.[ The following license fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1996, and thereafter. ]

(1) Licenses:

(A) resident commercial oyster boat— $420 [ $350 ];

(B) resident sport oyster boat—$10;

(C) resident commercial oyster captain's— $30 [ $25 ];

(D) resident commercial oyster fisherman's— $120 [ $100 ];

(E) nonresident commercial oyster boat— $1,680 [ $1,400 ];

(F) nonresident sport oyster boat— $40 [ $10 ];

(G) nonresident commercial oyster boat captain's— $120 [ $100 ]; and

(H) nonresident commercial oyster fisherman's— $300 [ $250 ]

(2) License transfers:

(A) resident commercial oyster boat transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ]; and

(B) nonresident commercial oyster boat transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ].

(3) Replacement [ Duplicate ] License plates:

(A) resident commercial oyster boat— $10 [ $5.00 ]; and

(B) nonresident commercial oyster boat— $10 [ $5.00 ].

(c) General, finfish, menhaden, mussel, clam, and miscellaneous licenses.

(1) Licenses and permits.[ The following license fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1997, and thereafter: ]

(A) resident commercial fishing boat— $18 [ $15 ];

(B) class A menhaden boat— $4,200 [ $ 3,500 ];

(C) class B menhaden boat—$50;

(D) resident general commercial fisherman's— $24 [ $20 ];

(E) resident commercial mussel and clam fisherman's— $36 [ $30 ];

(F) resident shell buyer's— $120 [ $100 ];

(G) nonresident commercial fishing boat— $72 [ $60 ];

(H) nonresident general commercial fisherman's— $180 [ $150 ];

(I) nonresident commercial mussel and clam fisherman's— $960 [ $800 ];

(J) nonresident shell buyer's— $1,800 [ $1,500 ];

(K) menhaden fish plant permit— $180 [ $150 ];

(L) mussel dredge fee— $36 [ $30 ]; and

(M) permit to sell non-game fish— $60 [ $50 ].

(2) License transfers. [ The following license transfer fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1996, and thereafter: ]

(A) resident commercial fishing boat license transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ]; and

(B) nonresident commercial fishing boat license transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ].

(3) Replacement [ Duplicate ] license plates.[ The following duplicate license plate fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1996, and thereafter: ]

(A) resident commercial fishing boat— $10 [ $5.00 ]; and

(B) nonresident commercial fishing boat— $10 [ $5.00 ].

(d) Crab [ Crabbing ] licenses.

(1) Licenses and permits.[ The following license fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1,1998, and thereafter: ]

(A) resident commercial crab fisherman's— $600 [ $500 ]; and

(B) nonresident commercial crab fisherman's— $2,400 [ $2,000 ].

(2) License transfers.[ The following license transfer fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1,1998, and thereafter: ]

(A) resident commercial crab fisherman's— $600 [ $500 ]; and

(B) nonresident commercial crab fisherman's— $2,400 [ $2,000 ].

(3) Duplicate license plates.[ The following license transfer fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1,1998, and thereafter: ]

(A) resident commercial crab fisherman's— $10 [ $5.00 ]; and

(B) nonresident commercial crab fisherman's— $10 [ $5.00 ].

(e) Finfish [ Finfishing ] licenses.

(1) Licenses and permits.[ The following license fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 2000, and thereafter: ]

(A) resident commercial finfish fisherman's— $360 [ $300 ]; and

(B) nonresident commercial finfish fisherman's— $1,440 [ $1,200 ]

(2) License transfers.[ The following license transfer fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 2000, and thereafter: ]

(A) resident commercial finfish fisherman's— $360 [ $300 ]; and

(B) nonresident commercial finfish fisherman's— $1,440 [ $1,200 ]

(3) Duplicate license plates.[ The following duplicate license plate fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 2000, and thereafter: ]

(A) resident commercial finfish fisherman's— $10 [ $5.00 ]; and

(B) nonresident commercial finfish fisherman's— $10 [ $5.00 ].

§53.7.Business Licenses and Permits.

Fish, bait, and shrimp licenses and tags.

(1) Licenses.[ The following license fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 2001, and thereafter: ]

(A) retail fish dealer's— $84 [ $70 ];

(B) retail fish dealer's truck— $156 [ $130 ];

(C) wholesale fish dealer's— $750 [ $625 ];

(D) wholesale fish dealer's truck— $510 [ $425 ];

(E) bait dealer's—individual— $36 [ $30 ];

(F) bait dealer-place of business/building— $36 [ $30 ];

(G) bait dealer-place of business/motor vehicle— $36 [ $30 ];

(H) bait shrimp dealer's— $204 [ $170 ];

(I) finfish import— $90 [ $75 ]; and

(J) fishing guide—$75.

(2) License transfers.[ The following license fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1,1995, and thereafter: ]

(A) retail fish dealer's license transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ];

(B) retail fish dealer's truck license transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ];

(C) wholesale fish dealer's license transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ];

(D) wholesale fish dealer's truck license transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ];

(E) bait dealer's license transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ];

(F) bait dealer's-place of business/building license transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ];

(G) bait dealer's-place of business/motor vehicle license transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ];

(H) bait shrimp dealer's license transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ];

(I) finfish import license transfer— $10 [ $5.00 ].

(3) The fee for the saltwater trotline tag shall be $3.00.

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on February 15, 2002.


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