Presenter: Tom Newton

Duck Stamp Fees
Authorization to Sell Federal Duck Stamps through TPWD's Automated License System
Authorized by Legislation (S.B. 1668)
August 23, 2007

I. Executive Summary: This item presents proposed amendments to the department's fee rules that establish the fee for the purchase, electronic issuance, and fulfillment of the federal duck stamp; and make housekeeping-type changes to eliminate redundant language.

II. Discussion: Under federal law, no person 16 years of age or older may hunt waterfowl in the United States without having acquired a federal duck stamp. For many years, the federal duck stamp had to be physically purchased at certain federal offices and department law enforcement offices. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently made it possible for the individual states to enter into agreements with the federal government to sell the federal duck stamp electronically (Electronic Duck Stamp Act of 2005, P.L. 109-266). With the passage of Senate Bill 1668 by the 80th Legislature, the department received the statutory authority to sell the federal duck stamp through the use of automated equipment and point-of-sale system, and the department has therefore chosen to enter into an agreement with the federal government to sell the federal duck stamp through the department's license deputies and website beginning with the 2007-2008 license year. The proposed rules were published for public comment in the July 20, 2007, issue of the Texas Register (32 TexReg 4522). Staff will provide a summary of public comment at the time of the meeting.

III. Recommendation: Staff recommends that the commission adopt the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts new §§53.2 and 53.5, concerning Fees, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the July 20, 2007 issue of the Texas Register (32 TexReg 4522)."

Attachments – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Resolution - Federal Duck Stamp Fee and Convenience Fees Proposal Preamble

Commission Agenda Item No. 13
Exhibit A

Chapter 53. Finance
Federal Duck Stamp Fee and Convenience Fees
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §§53.2, concerning License Issuance Procedures, Fees, Possession, and Exemption Rules and 53.5, concerning Recreational Hunting License, Stamps, and Tags.

The proposed amendment to §53.2 would clarify terminology to reduce confusion. The current rules provide that “persons may acquire recreational hunting and/or fishing licenses and stamps electronically (including by telephone) from the department or its designated representatives by agreeing to pay a convenience fee of up to $5 per license in addition to the normal license or stamp fee.” The proposed amendment would eliminate the phrase “(including by telephone),” which is redundant, since a sale over the telephone is by definition electronic in nature. In fact, almost all licenses and stamps sold by the department are sold electronically, via telephone, the Internet, or the department’s automated point-of-sale system.

The proposed amendment to §53.5, concerning Recreational Hunting License, Stamps, and Tags, would add the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly referred to as the “federal duck stamp,” to the list of stamps sold by the department.

Under federal law, no person 16 years of age or older may hunt waterfowl in the United States without having acquired a federal duck stamp. For many years the federal duck stamp had to be physically purchased at certain federal offices and department law enforcement offices. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently made it possible for individual states to enter into agreements with the federal government to sell the federal duck stamp electronically (Electronic Duck Stamp Act of 2005, P.L. 109-266). With the passage of Senate Bill 1668 by the 80th Legislature, the department received the statutory authority to sell the federal duck stamp through the use of automated equipment and point-of-sale system, and the department has therefore chosen to enter into an agreement with the federal government to sell the federal duck stamp through the department’s license deputies and website beginning with the 2007-2008 license year. The cost of the federal duck stamp will be $17, which includes the $15 federal fee, a $1 federal fee for the cost of mailing a physical stamp to the customer, and a $1 fee to cover the agency’s transaction costs and commissions to license deputies.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, Regulations Coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years the rule as proposed is in effect, there will be minimal fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the rule as proposed. The department pays a per-transaction fee to the license vendor that operates the department’s automated licensing system and a per-item fee to agents commissioned by the department to sell licenses, permits, and tags. The cost to the department of issuing the federal duck stump is dependent on whether the stamp is bought as part of another transaction or bought as a stand-alone item; however, the department expects that the overwhelming preponderance of waterfowl hunters will purchase a federal duck stamp at the same time that they purchase their hunting license and state stamp. The department pays the provider of the automated license system $.76 per transaction, meaning that approximately one-third of the transaction fee would be for the federal stamp, or approximately $.25. In addition, the department pays a commission of $.75 per transaction to most of the authorized license deputy selling licenses and stamps to the public on behalf of the department. The department has rounded that figure to the nearest dollar to make transactions, accounting, and commission payments less cumbersome. Therefore, the cost to the department of selling the stamp will be $.01 per stamp. In 2006, the department sold approximately 545,000 state migratory game bird stamps. Using those numbers, the maximum cost to the department would be $5,450; however, the actual total will be less, since the department estimates that as many as half of all persons who purchase the state migratory stamp do not hunt waterfowl. Thus, the department concludes that the fiscal impact to the department will be somewhere around $2,200, or approximately revenue-neutral.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald 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 the convenience of one-stop shopping for all licenses, permits, and stamps needed to lawfully hunt in this state.

(B) There will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses or microbusinesses, as the rule will not affect businesses. There will be an effect on persons required to comply with the rule as proposed, namely the $17 fee for the stamp.

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by Government Code, §2001.022, as the department has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) The department has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules), does not apply to the proposed rule.

(E) 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 rules may be submitted to Jason Martinson, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-4609 (e-mail: jason.martinson@tpwd.state.tx.us).

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendment is proposed under the provisions of Senate Bill 1668 as enacted by the 80th Texas Legislature, which authorizes the department to issue a license, stamp, tag, permit, or another similar item authorized by the code or federal law through the use of automated equipment and a point-of-sale system; Parks and Wildlife Code, §12.701, which allows the department to authorize the issuance of a license, stamp, permit, or tag by a license deputy; Parks and Wildlife Code, §12.702, which authorizes the commission to set collection and issuance fees by rule for a license, stamp, tag, permit, or other similar item issued under any chapter of the code; and 31 TAC §53.2, which authorizes the department to charge a convenience fee of up to $5 per hunting or fishing license or per stamp when purchased electronically.

The amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 12.

§53.2. License Issuance Procedures, Fees, Possession, and Exemption Rules.

(a) Hunting license possession.

(1) No person may hunt turkey in this state without having a valid hunting license in immediate possession.

(2) A person may hunt species other than turkey in this state without having a valid hunting license in immediate possession if that person has acquired a license electronically (including by telephone) and has a valid confirmation number in his possession. Confirmation numbers shall only be valid for 20 days from date of purchase.

(3) A person may hunt deer in this state without having a valid hunting license in immediate possession only if that person:

(A) has acquired a license electronically (including by telephone) and has a valid confirmation number in his possession; and

(B) is lawfully hunting:

(i) under the provisions of §65.26 of this title (relating to Managed Lands Deer (MLD) Permits);

(ii) under the provisions of §65.28 of this title (relating to Landowner Assisted Management Permits (LAMPS));

(iii) by special permit under the provisions of Subchapter H of this chapter (relating to Public Lands Proclamation);

(iv) on department-leased lands under the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.0272; or

(v) by special antlerless permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for use on USFS lands that are part of the department's public hunting program.

(4) For the purposes of this chapter, any person under the age of 17 is a resident.

(b) Fishing license possession.

(1) A person may fish in this state without having a valid fishing license in immediate possession if that person:

(A) is exempt from holding a fishing license; or

(B) has acquired a license electronically (including by telephone) and has a valid confirmation number in possession. Confirmation numbers shall only be valid for 20 days from date of purchase.

(2) No person may catch and retain a red drum over 28 inches in length in the coastal waters of this state without having a valid fishing license, saltwater sportfishing stamp (unless exempt), and red drum tag in immediate possession.

(c) Issuance of licenses and stamps electronically (including by telephone).

(1) A person may acquire recreational hunting and/or fishing licenses electronically [(including by telephone)] from the department or its designated representatives by agreeing to pay a convenience fee of up to $5 per license in addition to the normal license fee.

(2) A person may acquire recreational hunting and/or fishing stamps electronically [(including by telephone)] from the department or its designated representatives by agreeing to pay a convenience fee of up to $5 per stamp order in addition to the normal stamp fee(s). This fee shall not be charged if a license is acquired during the same transaction.

(d) The following categories of persons are exempt from fishing license requirements and fees:

(1) residents under 17 years of age;

(2) non-residents under 17 years of age;

(3) non-residents 65 years of age or older who are residents of Louisiana and who possess a Louisiana recreational fishing license;

(4) non-residents 64 years of age or older who are residents of Oklahoma;

(5) persons who hold valid Louisiana non-resident fishing licenses while fishing on all waters inland from a line across Sabine Pass between Texas Point and Louisiana Point that form a common boundary between Texas and Louisiana if the State of Louisiana allows a reciprocal privilege to persons who hold valid Texas annual or temporary non-resident fishing licenses; and

(6) residents of Louisiana who meet the licensing requirements of their state while fishing on all waters inland from a line across Sabine Pass between Texas Point and Louisiana Point that form a common boundary between Texas and Louisiana if the State of Louisiana allows a reciprocal privilege to Texas residents who hold valid Texas fishing licenses.

(e) An administrative fee of $3 shall be charged for replacement of lost or destroyed licenses, stamps, or permits. This fee shall not be charged for items which have a fee for duplicates otherwise prescribed by rule or statute.

§53.5. Recreational Hunting Licenses, Stamps, and Permits.

(a) Hunting licenses:

(1) resident hunting—$23;

(2) senior resident hunting—$6. Valid for residents who are 65 years of age or older on the date of license purchase;

(3) youth hunting—$6. Valid for any person under 17 years of age on the date of license purchase;

(4) replacement hunting—$10;

(5) general nonresident hunting—$300;

(6) nonresident special hunting—$125;

(7) nonresident five-day special hunting—$45;

(8) nonresident spring turkey hunting—$120; and

(9) nonresident banded bird hunting—$25.

(b) Hunting stamps and tags:

(1) upland game bird—$7;

(2) migratory game bird—$7; [and]

(3) archery hunting—$7; and

(4) Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp — $17.

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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