Finance Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 am, January 24, 2007

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

  1. Land and Water Plan Update
    Staff: Robert Cook
  2. Texas State Railroad Update
    Staff: Walt Dabney
  3. Financial Review
    Staff: Mary Fields
  4. License Assessment Review
    Staff: Larry McKinney
  5. License Fee and Structure Changes - Permission to Publish
    Staff: Gene McCarty
  6. Repeal of Fee for Proof of Ownership of Boats and Motors - Permission to Publish
    Staff: Frances Stiles

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Robert L. Cook

Finance Committee
Land and Water Plan Update
January 2007

I. Executive Summary: Executive Director Robert L. Cook will briefly update the Commission on the status of the agency's efforts to implement the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (the Plan).

II. Discussion: In 2001, the 77th Texas Legislature directed that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) develop a Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (Tex. Park & Wild. Code §11.104). In November 2002, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) adopted the first Plan. A revised Plan was adopted by the Commission in January 2005. The Plan is available on the TPWD web site. Executive Director Robert L. Cook will update the Finance Committee on TPWD's recent progress in achieving the Plan's Goals and Objectives as they relate to the Finance Committee.

The Plan consists of 8 Goals and a total of 56 Objectives. The Goals stated in the Plan are as follows:


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Walt Dabney

Finance Committee
Texas State Railroad Update
January 24, 2007

I. Executive Summary: The Texas State Railroad Task Force consisting of members from both Rusk and Palestine will be present to update the Commission on its plans to search for a potential private operator to operate and maintain the Texas State Railroad. If such a viable operator were found, the group would propose the transfer of the railroad to a Railroad Authority comprised of the two communities and then negotiate a formal operating agreement.


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Mary Fields

Finance Committee
Financial Overview
January 24, 2007

I. Executive Summary: Staff will present a financial overview of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).

II. Discussion:

  1. Staff will provide a financial overview of FY 2006 year-end close.
  2. Staff will update the Commission on revenue collected by TPWD for the first quarter of FY 2007, including state parks receipts, boat titling and registration revenue, and license sales revenue including the number of licenses sold.
  3. Staff will review the revenue collected by fund (Game Fish and Water Safety Fund, State Park Fund, Local Park Fund, and Other).
  4. Staff will compare the FY 2007 budget to FY 2007 expenditures for the first quarter and summarize budget adjustments.

Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Larry McKinney

Finance Committee
License Assessment Review
January 24, 2007

I. Executive Summary: Staff will discuss the recommendations of the License Reassessment Team for changing various licenses in the Point-of-Sale system. Staff will identify those changes that will require statutory amendments, Commission action, staff action and others requiring further agency consideration before changes are implemented.

II. Discussion: The License Reassessment Team has reviewed the array of licenses with the objective of reducing the overall number and simplifying those for both the customer and systems development. Staff will identify those recommended changes that will require legislative action to amend various statutes necessary to provide the Commission authority to implement the recommendations. A suite of licenses have been identified that will require further agency consideration upon which to develop consensus as to how they will be administered. Finally, those licenses reviewed by the team requiring only Commission action will be presented via a subsequent agenda item.


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Gene McCarty

Finance Committee
License Fee and Structure Changes – Permission to Publish
January 24, 2007

I. Executive Summary: This item presents proposed amendments to Title 31, Texas Administrative Code Chapter 53 regarding various licenses, permits and tags. Staff will discuss the recommendations of the License Reassessment Team for changing various licenses in the Point-of-Sale System catalogue, and seek permission to publish these proposed changes in the Texas Register for public comment.

II. Discussion: The License Reassessment Team has reviewed the array of licenses in the agency's Point-of-Sale catalogue with the objective of reducing the overall number and simplifying those for both the customer and systems development. Recommended changes for consideration by the Commission are as follows:

  1. Resident and Nonresident Commercial Fishing Boat Licenses: Create one Commercial Fishing Boat License which will authorize the current activities of the two licenses in a single license; charge a fee of $25 for the new license. These licenses are currently required of each boat that must be registered under federal or state laws and is used in taking aquatic products except menhaden, finfish, oysters crabs and shrimp from the public waters of the state or for boats unloading within the state such products taken outside the states waters for pay, barter, sale, exchange or any commercial purpose. Few nonresident licenses are sold. The merger will simplify license administration for both staff and customer. There are no resource and/or management issues to making this change.
  2. Resident and Nonresident Freshwater Fishing Guide Licenses: Create one Freshwater Fishing Guide License, which will authorize activities of the two licenses in a single license and retain the fee of $125 for the new license. These licenses are currently required for individuals who operate a boat for anything of value in transporting or accompanying anyone who is fishing in freshwater of this state. The price of each current license is $125. The merger will simplify license administration for both staff and customer. There are no resource and/or management issues to making this change.
  3. Resident and Nonresident Saltwater Fishing Guide Licenses: Rename the licenses as Resident and Nonresident All-Water Fishing Guide Licenses, respectively. The new name more accurately describes the authorized activities of these licenses. They are required for individuals who operate a boat for anything of value in transporting or accompanying anyone who is fishing in freshwater and saltwater of this state.
  4. Special Resident Fishing License Package: Separate the authorized activities of this license into two separate licenses. First, rename the current license as a "Resident Senior Fishing License Package" which will allow only Senior Citizens to fish in freshwater and saltwater in this state at a fee of $6. Second, create a new "Special Resident Fishing License" which will be available only to individuals who are legally blind and assess a fee of $6, authorizing those individuals to fish in the freshwater and saltwater of this state. In addition, establish an exemption for, or waive the freshwater stamp and saltwater stamp requirements for the new "Special Resident Fishing License." There are no resource or management issues in having this license. Establishing these two licenses will provide the agency with better demographic and effort data between the two groups. There are no resource or management issues in having this license.
  5. Resident July-August Fishing License Packages (Freshwater; Saltwater; and All Water): Repeal these licenses. They currently allow individuals to fish in the freshwater and saltwater of this state during the months of July and August only. These licenses create considerable confusion for the customer and complicate the Point-of-Sale system. There are no resource or management issues to discontinuing these licenses.
  6. Resident Day Plus Fishing Package and Resident Day Plus Fishing Package Repurchase (Freshwater; Saltwater; and All Water): Repeal all variations of the Resident Day Plus Fishing Package and the Resident Day Plus Fishing Package Repurchase EXCEPT the Resident Day Plus Fishing Package for All Water. Rename this license as "Resident One-Day All Water Fishing License" and assess a fee of $10. Additionally, create an exemption or waive the freshwater stamp and saltwater stamp requirements. One red drum tag shall be issued at no additional charge with the purchase of the first one-day license only. Red drum tags will not be issued with the purchase of additional one-day licenses. Currently anglers may purchase as many one-day licenses as they wish to fish either freshwater, saltwater or all waters. They are required to also purchase the appropriate freshwater or saltwater stamps. If, however, anglers currently wish to fish beyond the time limit of the previously purchased one-day license packages, they may purchase additional one-day licenses without having to purchase the additional freshwater or saltwater stamps. These licenses create considerable confusion for the customer and complicate the Point-of-Sale system. There are no resource or management issues to creating a single license.
  7. Nonresident Day Plus Fishing Package and Nonresident Day Plus Fishing Package Repurchase (Freshwater; Saltwater; and All Water): Repeal all variations of the Nonresident Day Plus Fishing Package and the Nonresident Day Plus Fishing Package Repurchase EXCEPT the Nonresident Day Plus Fishing Package for All Water. Rename this license as "Nonresident One-Day All Water Fishing License" and assess a fee of $15. Additionally, create an exemption or waive the freshwater stamp and saltwater stamp requirements. One red drum tag shall be issued at no additional charge with the purchase of the first one-day license only. Red drum tags will not be issued with the purchase of additional one-day licenses. Currently anglers may purchase as many one-day licenses as they wish to fish either freshwater, saltwater or all waters. They are required to also purchase the appropriate freshwater or saltwater stamps. If, however, anglers currently wish to fish beyond the time limit of the previously purchased one-day license packages, they may purchase additional one-day licenses without having to purchase the additional freshwater or saltwater stamps. These licenses create considerable confusion for the customer and complicate the Point-of-Sale system. There are no resource or management issues to creating a single license.
  8. Bonus Red Drum Tag: Establish the Bonus Red Drum Tag as a stand-alone sales item for a fee of $3; this allows all saltwater anglers to obtain a second tag authorizing the harvest of a second oversize red drum. Allow only one Bonus Red Drum Tag to be issued to any individual per license year. There are no resource or management issues to establishing this tag as a stand-alone tag.
  9. Special Resident Hunting License: Separate the authorized activities of this license into two separate licenses. Name one as a "Resident Senior Hunting License" which will allow only Senior Citizens to hunt in this state at a fee of $6. Then create a new "Youth Hunting License" which will allow resident and nonresident youth under 17 years of age to hunt in Texas. Establishing these two licenses will provide better demographic and effort data between the two groups.
  10. One-Day Fishing License Red Drum Tag: Create a separate One-Day Fishing License Red Drum Tag as an integral part of the purchase of a Resident One-Day All Water Fishing License and a Nonresident One-Day All Water Fishing License. The tag will be issued for the initial One-Day license purchased by an angler. If the angler desires a second tag, he/she must purchase a Bonus Red Drum Tag. The Point-of-Sale system is programmed so that each type of red drum tag is uniquely tied to the respective licenses in order to accurately identify anglers who have received their first red drum tag. This new tag, therefore, is necessary for the Point-of-Sale system to identify purchasers of One-Day licenses so as to limit them to two red drum tags.

Staff requests permission to publish the proposed changes in the Texas Register for public comment.


Committee Agenda Item No. 6
Presenter: Frances Stiles

Finance Committee
Repeal of Fee for Proof of Ownership
of Boats and Motors
January 24, 2007

I. Executive Summary: This item provides the Committee/Commission the opportunity to review and approve the request to publish in the Texas Register a revision to the Texas Administrative Code, Title 31, Part 2, Chapter 53, Subchapter A, Division 1, Rule 53.16 to remove the $2.00 fee for current vessel or outboard ownership information reports in order to proceed with development and implementation of internet online services.

I. Discussion: Access to Boat/Outboard Motor Ownership Information
Chapter 31.039 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code states, "(a) All ownership records of the department made or kept under this chapter are public records. (b) The commission may by rule charge a fee for access to ownership records and other records made or kept under this chapter."

It is recommended to offer boat and outboard motor current owner of record reports at no cost through the internet when the agency implements boat registration renewals online.

In order to proceed with this implementation, it has been determined that the functionality of the new boat system has streamlined the ownership report process and TPWD will have no direct costs except for the costs of charging the customer (approximately $1 per transaction after TPWD incurs the cost of programming a link to e-pay). Therefore, we are recommending providing the current owner of record report for free to all customers. The methods used for information searches would be limited to search by (1) the vessel or outboard motor serial number or (2) the assigned TX number. By restricting the search query fields, this should limit the possibility of misuse of information.

Certain companies need quick ownership information to meet their business needs and to meet statutory requirements. Boat dealers and news organizations need rapid access to this information to meet their business needs, determining accurate ownership before accepting trade-ins and gathering accurate information. Towing companies are required by statute to contact the owner of record/lien holder of a towed vessel within five days. In addition, the general public would be able to verify the owner of record and lien holder and, therefore avoiding fraudulent or problematic situations.

Currently this type of service is available through the internet for those vessels documented with the United States Coast Guard at no cost through various web sites. Examples of these search pages are as follows:

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is currently planning the next system implementation for vehicle information, and following the lead of TPWD will offer this type of service through their internet sites.

TPWD Program Revenue and Expense
Item FY 06 Quantities FY 06 Revenue
Ownership Report Requests 6,400 $12,800
Projected Online Fee Collection Costs $1 per report $6,400
Proposed Loss of Revenue n/a $6,400

The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approve the request to publish the proposed rule revision in the Texas Register the public comment period.

Attachments - 1

  1. Exhibit A – Boat and Motor Record Fees Proposal Preamble

Committee Agenda Item No. 6
Exhibit A

Boat and Motor Record Fees
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment 53.16, concerning Vessel, Motor, and Marine Licensing Fees. The proposed amendment would eliminate the current fee of $2 to obtain a record of boat or motor ownership.

Under current rule, record information concerning ownership of a boat or motor is obtainable for a fee of $2 per record. The current fee was promulgated to allow the department to recoup the administrative expenses incurred in retrieving and verifying information; however, the introduction of the department’s automated Boat Registration Information and Titling System (BRITS), has reduced the cost of accessing records to the extent that the fee is no longer necessary.

2. Fiscal Note.

Ms. Frances Stiles, Assistant Director of Revenue, has determined that for each of the first five years that the rule as proposed is in effect, there will be minimal fiscal implications to state government as a result of enforcing or administering the rule. Although the department has implemented an automated system that will handle the majority of the workload, there will be an occasional need to manually process a request for ownership records. The department will absorb such costs using existing personnel, resulting in no net cost to the state.

3. Public Benefit — Cost Note.

Ms. Stiles also has determined that for each of the first five years the rule as proposed is in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rule as proposed will be economical access to records maintained by the department.

(B) There will be no adverse economic effects on small businesses, microbusinesses, or persons required to comply with the amendment as proposed.

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

(D) 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 rule.

4. Request for Public Comment.

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted 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. Statutory Authority.

The amendments are proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, §31.039, which authorizes the commission promulgate rules to charge fee for access to ownership records and other records made or kept under Chapter 31.

The proposed amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 31.

§53.16. Vessel, Motor, and Marine Licensing Fees.

(a) Registration fees:

(1) livery vessel-Class A—$30;

(2) vessel-Class A—$30;

(3) vessel-Class 1—$50;

(4) vessel-Class 2—$70;

(5) vessel-Class 3—$90;

(b) Titling fees:

(1) certificate of title—$25

(2) administrative surcharge for expedited title to a vessel (in addition to applicable fee)—$35;

(3) administrative surcharge for expedited title to a motor (in addition to applicable fee)—$35; and

(4) bonded certificate of title—$35.

(c) Duplicate/transfer fees:

(1) vessel-transfer of ownership—$10;

(2) vessel-duplicate certificate of number—$10;

(3) vessel-duplicate decals—$10.

(d) Marine dealer/distributor/manufacturer fees:

(1) marine dealer manufacturer number (effective until February 29, 2004)—$130;

(2) marine dealer, distributor or manufacturer license—$500;

(3) marine dealer, distributor or manufacturer ownership transfer of license—$500;

(4) marine dealer, distributor or manufacturer location transfer—$10;

(5) marine dealer, distributor or manufacturer information update/license correction-$3.

(e) Report fees:

[(1) current owner of record report for vessel or outboard motor—$2;]

(1)[(2)] certified history report of ownership for vessel or outboard motor—$10;

(2)[(3)] accident/water fatality report up to five pages in length—$5; and

(3)[(4)] accident/water fatality report over five pages in length—$10 65.610.

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

Issued in Austin, Texas, on


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