Presenter: Gene McCarty

Commission Agenda Item No. 3
Action
Boat Fees
May 2003

I. DISCUSSION: Chapter 31 of the Parks and Wildlife Code authorizes the commission to set the amount of boat registration, titling and related fees. In an effort to address increased funding needs, staff conducted an analysis and review of boat fees and presented proposed boat fee changes to the Finance Committee at its April 2003 meeting. The committee authorized staff to publish the proposed changes in the Texas Register for public comment (see Exhibit A). The proposed rules appeared in the April 25, 2003 issue of the Texas Register.

Proposed rules submitted to the Texas register included the following changes to boat related fees:

As of this writing, staff had received a total of 10 comments via written correspondence/telephone from the public regarding the boat fee proposals. In addition, public input is being sought through a series of public hearings scheduled across the state. 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 the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department adopts amendments to 31 TAC 53.10 concerning Vessel and Motor Fees Set by the Commission, with changes to the proposal as published in the April 25, 2003 issue of the Texas Register (28 TexReg 3480).

Exhibit A - Proposed 2003-2004 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
Exhibit B - Proposed Fishing Guide Fees
Exhibit C - Fiscal Note (Available Upon Request)


Commission Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit A

Boat Fees
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §53.10, concerning Vessel and Motor Fees Set by Commission. The amendment to §53.10 increases registration, title, and transfer fees for vessels. The fee increases range from $5 to $20. Transactions conducted under these rules result in a two-year period of validity for the required documentation affected by each. The amendment is necessary to enable the department to maintain current levels of service associated with discharging statutory obligations to register and track boat ownership in the state, and to enforce safe boating and Boating While Intoxicated laws. Registration, title, and transfer fees for boats have not been increased since 1996. During the intervening time, inflation has significantly increased the costs of doing business (such as the cost of office space and utilities).

2. Fiscal Note.

Mary Fields, 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, state government is estimated to receive approximately $3.6 million per year in additional revenues from increased registration, title, transfer and duplicate fees. This estimate was derived by multiplying the proposed new fee for each type of transaction by the number of anticipated transactions for each type of fee. The number of anticipated transactions is based on a four-year average, adjusted down by 5% to reflect the potential reduction in transaction activity due to the fee increase. The estimate (1) assumes that boat registration and titling related activity will remain relatively constant over the next 5 years; and (2) has not been adjusted to reflect the 10% commission retained by counties (approximately 13% of all transactions). County tax assessors may realize a small revenue increase due to the proposed fee increases.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

Ms. Fields also has determined that for each of the first five years the rules as proposed are in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rules as proposed will be the continued ability of the depart to adequately conduct the water safety enforcement program and to provide efficient boat registration and titling services.

(B) The rules are expected to have an economic effect on small and microbusinesses, namely in the amount of fees paid by any given business. Additionally, the economic effect on persons required to comply with the rules will be the amount of fees paid by each person. The public cost anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rules as proposed would be as follows: (1) Boat registration and titling related fee increases will range from $5 to $20, depending on the type of boat and required transactions.

(B) 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.

(C) 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.

4. Request for Public Comment.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted as follows: Comments regarding boat registration and titling related fees should be directed to Frances Stiles, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-4860 (e-mail: frances.stiles@tpwd.state.tx.us).

5. Stautory Authority.

The amendment and new sections are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §§31.026, 31.037, 31.047, and §31.048, which authorize the commission to set fees for the issuance of original or renewal certificates of vessel numbers, duplicates, and transfers, and certificates of title and expedited certificates of title for boats.

The amendment and new sections affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 31.

§53.10. Vessel and Motor Fees Set by Commission. The following vessel and motor fee amounts are effective September 1, 2003[March 1, 1996 ]and thereafter:

(1) expedited "quick" title to a vessel - $35 [$25];

(2) expedited "quick" title to a motor - $35 [$25];

(3) livery vessel-Class A - $30 [$15];

(4) vessel-Class A - $30 [$25];

(5) vessel-Class 1 - $50 [$40];

(6) vessel-Class 2 - $70 [$55];

(7) vessel-Class 3 - $90 [$70];

(8) vessel-transfer of ownership - $10 [$5.00];

(9) vessel-duplicate certificate of number - $10 [$5.00];

(10) vessel-duplicate decals - $10 [$5.00]; and

(11) marine dealer/manufacturer number—$130; and

(12) certificate of title - $25 [$15].


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