Commission Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter:  Julie Horsley

Action
Fee Schedule Rules
Deer Breeder Renewal Fees,
Miscellaneous Corrections and Clean Up
May 27, 2010

I.       Executive Summary:  This item seeks adoption of proposed changes to the department’s fee rules.  The proposed changes would:

II.     Discussion:  Under Parks and Wildlife Code, §49.014, the Commission is authorized to prescribe fees for any falconry, raptor propagation, or nonresident trapping permit.  Responsibility for establishing fees for deer breeder permits is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, §43.357.  Responsibility for establishing fees for entering properties owned or managed by the department (including wildlife management areas) is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.027.  Responsibility for establishing fees for review of permit applications (including triploid grass carp, scientific research, educational display, zoological collection, and protected nongame sales permits) is also delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.027.

Recent changes to federal rules governing falconry allow states to issue falconry permits with a period of validity of up to five years.  Although current department rules address a variable fee depending on the period of validity of a permit, those rules address a maximum period of validity of three years.  The proposed amendment would address pro-rata falconry fees for periods of validity of up to five years. 

The department has created an all-electronic reporting system for persons who hold deer breeder permits.  Increased utilization of the system by deer breeders results in cost savings to the department and makes data more immediately available to department regulatory and enforcement personnel.  Staff concludes that deer breeders who use the electronic reporting system are therefore reducing the administrative costs associated with their permits.  In order to implement a renewal fee that reflects a reduced administrative cost and to create an incentive for deer breeders to use the electronic reporting system exclusively, staff recommends that the renewal fee be reduced by 50% for deer breeders who submit at least 85% of specified reports (births, deaths) and permit activations using the department’s online system.

Current entry fees at the Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area are based on age and/or type of group.  In order to simplify and streamline the admissions process, staff proposes to impose a flat entry fee applied to all visitors, which will be easier to administer on-site and provide for simplified bookkeeping and fiscal control.

The department hosts a number of workshops, educational programs, and other similar activities at department facilities.  Staff recommends the creation of a generic fee structure to allow the department to recover the costs of providing the workshops.

In 2009, the department increased the fees for a number of permits, including the triploid grass carp, scientific research, educational display, zoological collection, and protected nongame sales permits.  Although the fee amounts in Chapter 53 of the Texas Administrative Code (Finance) were changed, the fees for those permits are also referenced in Chapters 57 (Fisheries) and 69 (Resource Protection).  Staff recommends eliminating all references to fees in Chapter 57 and Chapter 69 to rectify the conflicts and prevent them from occurring in the future.

At the March meeting of the Regulations Committee, staff was authorized to publish the proposed rules in the Texas Register for public comment.  The proposed rules appeared in the April 23, 2010, issue of the Texas Register (35 TexReg 3205, 3207, 3209).  Staff has collected public comment on the proposed rules and will present a summary at the meeting. 

III.    Recommendation:  Staff recommends that the Commission adopt the proposed motion:

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to §§53.9, 53.14 and §53.30, concerning Fees; §§57.125, concerning Triploid Grass Carp Permit; Fee; §65.608, concerning Annual Reports and Records; §69.310, concerning Fees; and §69.404, concerning Permit Application, Issuance, and Fees, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the April 23, 2010, issue of the Texas Register (35 TexReg 3205, 3207, 3209).”

Attachments – 4

Exhibits A1-A4 – Proposed Rules

1.  A1 – Fee Rules

2.  A2 – Triploid Grass Carp Permit Rules 

3.  A3 – Deer Breeder Permit Rules

4.  A4 — Miscellaneous Wildlife Permit Rules — Fees


Commission Agenda Item No. 2
Exhibit A1

Fee Rules
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

         The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendments to §§53.9, 53.14 and §53.30, concerning Fees. The proposed amendments would establish a pro rata fee for falconry permits issued on a four or five-year basis; reduce the fee for deer breeder permit renewals for permittees who submit reports electronically; create a generic authorization for the department to collect fees for department-sponsored activities, programs, and events; and implement a flat admission fee of $5 per person for entry to the lower visitation area at Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

         The proposed amendment to §53.9, concerning Falconry Permits, would establish fee amounts for falconry permits issued on a four or five-year basis. Recent changes to federal rules governing falconry allow states to issue falconry permits with a period of validity of up to five years. Although current department rules address a variable fee depending on the period of validity of a permit, those rules address a maximum period of validity of three years. The proposed amendment would address pro-rata falconry fees for periods of validity of up to five years.  Specifically, this proposed amendment adds a fee of $84 for a four-year permit and $105 for a five year permit for both the apprentice falconer’s permit and falconer’s renewal permit.

        The proposed amendment to §53.14, concerning Deer Management and Removal Permits, would reduce the fee for renewal of a deer breeder permit.  The department has created an electronic reporting system for persons who hold deer breeder permits. Increased utilization of the system by deer breeders results in cost savings to the department and makes data more immediately available to department, regulatory and enforcement personnel, which makes those activities more efficient. The department has determined that deer breeders who use the electronic reporting system are therefore contributing to a reduction in administrative costs associated with their permits. In order to implement a renewal fee that reflects this reduced administrative cost, and to create an incentive for deer breeders to use the electronic reporting system exclusively, the department is publishing a proposed amendment elsewhere in this issue of the Texas Register that would provide for a reduced renewal fee for deer breeders who submit at least 85% of specified reports and permit activations via the department’s online system.  The proposed amendment provides that the amount of reduced fee for using the on-line system is $200, rather than $400.

        The proposed amendment to §53.30, concerning Facility Admission and Use Fees, would create a generic authorization for the department to collect fees for department-sponsored activities, programs, and events; and implement a flat admission fee of $5 per person for entry to the lower visitation area at Old Tunnel Wildlife WMA.

        The department hosts a number of workshops, educational programs, and other similar activities at department facilities. At these events, the department usually collects a nominal fee to recoup the cost of providing the programs. There is currently no specific regulatory provision explicitly establishing fees for those programs.  The proposed amendment would address this by creating a generic fee authorization to allow the department to recover the costs of providing workshops, educational programs, and other similar activities.

        Current entry fees for the lower visitation area at the Old Tunnel WMA are based on age and/or type of group. Under current rules, children under the age of five pay no admission fee, children between the ages of six and 16 pay a $2 admission fee, persons between 17 and 64 pay a $5 admission fee, and persons 65 and over pay a $3 admission fee.  The proposed amendment would implement a flat admission fee of $5 per person, irrespective of age. The Old Tunnel WMA is popular with the public; however, due to staffing priorities at other wildlife management areas, Old Tunnel WMA is staffed by only one employee and the department must rely on unpaid volunteers to fill additional staffing needs. By implementing a flat fee, the admissions process will be simplified, easier to administer, and will provide for simplified bookkeeping and fiscal control.

2. Fiscal Note.

         Robert Macdonald, Regulations Coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the proposed rules are in effect, there could be fiscal implications to state government as a result of administering or enforcing the proposed fee adjustment at Old Tunnel WMA. There will be no effects from the remaining amendments, as the reduced revenue from deer breeder fees will be offset by increased administrative efficiencies and the generic fee for participation in department activities, programs and events will offset the cost of providing those programs and events.

         The impact of a flat admissions fee at Old Tunnel WMA cannot be quantified reliably, because future visitation is unknown. Based on fiscal year (FY) 2009 data, however, the department estimates that a flat $5 entry fee could potentially result in additional revenue of $9,581 per year. Persons between the ages of 16 and 65 already pay a $5 admissions fee, so revenue for that class of visitor is not affected by the proposed amendment and is not included in this analysis. In FY 2009, the department admitted 1,175 persons between the ages of 6 and 16 ($2 admission fee, for a total of $2,350) and 698 persons age 65 or older ($3 admission fee, for total of $2,094). Additionally, 752 children were admitted at no charge. Therefore, total revenue from these three classes of visitors in FY 2009 was $4,444. Taking the total number of visitors from FY 2009 and multiplying by five yields estimated revenue of $13,125. Subtracting last year’s revenue ($4,444) from that value yields estimated net revenue of $8,681, assuming visitation in all three classes remains constant. There will be no fiscal implications to local governments as a result of administering or enforcing the rules as proposed.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

         Mr. Macdonald 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 rules that clearly state the conditions under which fees are imposed and the amounts of those fees.

         (B) Under the provisions of Government Code, Chapter 2006, a state agency must prepare an economic impact statement and a regulatory flexibility analysis for a rule that may have an adverse economic affect on small businesses and microbusinesses. As required by Government Code, §2006.002(g), the Office of the Attorney General has prepared guidelines to assist state agencies in determining a proposed rule’s potential adverse economic impact on small businesses. Those guidelines state that an agency need only consider a proposed rule’s “direct adverse economic impacts” to small businesses and microbusinesses to determine if any further analysis is required. For that purpose, the department considers “direct economic impact” to mean a requirement that would directly impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements; impose taxes or fees; result in lost sales or profits; adversely affect market competition; or require the purchase or modification of equipment or services.

         The department has determined that there will be no adverse economic effects on small businesses, microbusinesses, and persons required to comply with the amendments as proposed. If anything, the effect of the reduced renewal fee for deer breeder permits will be positive. Accordingly, the department has not prepared a regulatory flexibility analysis under Government Code, Chapter 2006.

         (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 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 rules.

         (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 rules.

4. Request for Public Comment

         Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Robert Macdonald, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4775; email: robert.macdonald@tpwd.state.tx.us.

5. Statutory Authority.

         The amendments are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §43.357, which authorizes the commission to promulgate rules governing deer breeder permits, including fees and reporting requirements; §49.014, which authorizes the department to prescribe fees for any falconry, raptor propagation, or nonresident trapping permit;  and §11.027, which authorizes the commission to establish and provide for the collection of a fee for entering, reserving, or using a facility or property owned or managed by the department.

         The proposed amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapters 11, 43, and 49.

         §53.9 Falconry Permits.

                 (a) apprentice falconer’s:

                         (1) one-year — $21;

                         (2) two-year — $42; [and]

                         (3) three-year — $63;

                         (4) four-year — $84; and

                         (5) five-year — $105.

                 (b) general falconer’s — $126;

                 (c) master falconer’s — $189;

                 (d) falconer’s renewal:

                         (1) one-year — $21;

                         (2) two-year — $42; [and]

                         (3) three-year — $63;

                         (4) four-year — $84; and

                         (5) five-year — $105.

                 (e) nonresident raptor trapper’s — $378; and

                 (f) raptor propagator permit — $63.

         §53.14. Deer Management and Removal Permits.

                 (a) Deer breeding and related permits.

                         (1) Deer breeder’s and deer breeder’s renewal — $400; and

                         (2) Deer breeder’s renewal if qualified for reduced fee for electronic record submission — $200.

                 (b) Urban white-tailed deer removal permit:

                         (1) nonrefundable application processing fee — $750; and

                         (2) nonrefundable application processing fee for amendment to existing permit — $30. If the amendment includes additional release sites, the fee prescribed by paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be imposed for each additional release site.

                 (c) Deer management permit and renewal — $1,000.

                 (d) Antlerless and spike buck deer control permit application processing fee — $378.

         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

         The amendments are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.027(e), which authorizes the commission to establish and provide for the collection of a fee for entering, reserving, or using a facility or property owned or managed by the department.

         The proposed amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 11.

         §53.30. Facility Admission and Use Fees.

                 (a) The department may impose and collect a fee for participation in a department-sponsored program, event, or activity, but only as necessary to recover the cost of the program, event, or activity.

                 (b) As determined and authorized by the executive director, the department may charge entrance and facility use fees within the ranges established or the amounts specified in this section.

                         (1) – (2) (No change.)

                         (3) Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area. Entrance fees:

                                  (A) upper visitation area — free; and

                                  (B) lower visitation area — $5

                                  [(A) under five years of age—free]

                                  [(B) visitors 6-16 years of age — $2 to $5;]

                                  [(C) visitors over 16 years of age — $5 to $10;]

                                  [(D) visitors 65 years of age and over — $3 to $5;]

                                  [(E) group tours — $75 to $90; and]

                                  [(F) youth group tours — $40 to $50].

                         (4) Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area.

                                  (A) bunk (per night) — $20 to $24;

                                  (B) room (per night) — $60 to $72; and

                                 (C) Big House rental — $300 to $360 per day.

                         (5) Parrie Haynes Ranch.

                                  (A) Definitions.

                                          (i) Rig — a vehicle/horse trailer tandem;

                                          (ii) Volunteer — a person the department has authorized to access the Parrie Haynes Ranch to provide maintenance, development, program delivery, or other similar assistance to the Parrie Haynes Ranch; and

                                          (iii) Youth group — a group at least 60% of which are 17 years of age or younger.

                                          (B) General. Use of the Parrie Haynes Ranch facilities listed in subparagraphs (C), (D) and (F) of this paragraph is on an as-available basis by reservation only.

                                          (C) Facility fees. On the basis of availability, use of the Longhorn Lodge, Hoblitzelle Activity Pavilion, Rio Vista Hall, Buffalo Bunkhouse Meeting Rooms, and Pool is included for groups of 25 or more persons who purchase lodging and meals at the Hilltop Complex.

                                                   (i) Lodging.

                                                           (I) Mountain Laurel House — $150 to $250 per 24-hour period;

                                                           (II) Lone Star House — $250 to $400 per 24-hour period;

                                                           (III) Buffalo Bunkhouse — $300 to $600 per 24-hour period;

                                                           (IV) Cabins (Llano, Frio, Comal, Lantana, Primrose, Rattlesnake, Hawk, Coyote, and Bobcat) — $300 to $500 per 24-hour period, subject to applicable occupancy restrictions; and

                                                           (V) Rustic Hunter’s Cabin — $50 to $100 per 24-hour period.

                                                   (ii) Other facilities.

                                                           (I) Longhorn Lodge (classroom) — $150 to $250 per 24-hour period;

                                                           (II) Hoblitzelle Activity Pavilion — $100 to $150 per 24-hour period;

                                                           (III) Buffalo Bunkhouse (meeting rooms) — $50 to $150 per 24-hour period;

                                                           (IV) Rio Vista Hall — $150 to $250 per 24-hour period;

                                                           (V) pool — $150 to $250 per 24-hour period (lifeguard not provided).

                                                   (iii) Miscellaneous.

                                                           (I) kayak rental — $10 to $40 per kayak per 24-hour period;

                                                           (II) ropes challenge course — $10 to $40 per person per 24-hour period (must be accompanied by or include at least one certified facilitator provided by the user).

                                                           (III) shooting range — $10 to $40 per person per 24-hour period (must be accompanied by or include at least one person, provided by the user, who is certified by the department or the National Rifle Association as a hunter education instructor); and

                                                           (IV) Hilltop equestrian arena — $200 to $300 per 24-hour period.

                                                           (V) Youth Hunting Package (maximum: two nights, lodging (Rustic Hunter’s Cabin) and hunting only) — $20 to $60 per person per 48-hour period;

                                          (D) camping and day use:

                                                   (i) camping:

                                                           (I) primitive — $5 to $20 per person per 24-hour period; and

                                                           (II) RV/electrical connection — $16 to $30 per 24-hour period.

                                                   (ii) day use: $3 to $15 per person per 24-hour period.

                                          (E) Equestrian Center fees. When necessary to address staffing and management priorities, the Executive Director by order may close the equestrian center to overnight visitation and waive the fees established in this subparagraph.

                                                   (i) Day use (includes overnight, no lodging) — $10 to $20 per 24-hour period per rig;

                                                   (ii) Overnight (with electrical hook-up) — $16 to $30 per 24-hour period per rig;

                                                   (iii) Extra vehicle — $5 to $15 per 24-hour period;

                                                   (iv) Cowboy Cabin — $20 to $40 per 24-hour period;

                                                   (v) Hideout Clubhouse (including porch) — $120 to $200 per 24-hour period; and

                                                   (vi) Hideout Clubhouse (porch only) — $60 to $80 per 24-hour period.

                                          (F) Meals.

                                                   (i) Meal fees shall be from $5 to $25 per person per meal, depending on the meal plan selected.

                                                   (ii) For groups of fewer than 25 people, the minimum meal fee shall be the fee that would be charged to a group of 25 persons, depending on the meal plan selected.

                                          (G) Exceptions.

                                                   (i) The fees listed in subparagraph (C)(i) of this paragraph shall be discounted by 40% for youth groups.

                                                   (ii) Use of the Parrie Haynes Ranch by governmental entities shall be by agreement according to the relevant provisions of Government Code, Chapters 771 and 791, regarding Interagency Cooperation and Interlocal Cooperation.

                                                   (iii) Volunteers are exempt from all fee requirements.

                                                   (iv) Existing subleases of Parrie Haynes Ranch approved by the Texas Youth Commission are exempt from the provisions of this section.

         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.

         Issued in Austin, Texas on


Commission Agenda Item No. 2
Exhibit A2

Triploid Grass Carp Permit Rules
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

         The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §57.125.  Triploid Grass Carp Permit; Fee.

         The proposed amendment would remove references to fee amounts in the rule. In 2009 the department increased the fees for a number of permits, including the triploid grass carp permit. Although the fee amounts in Chapter 53 of the Texas Administrative Code (relating to Finance) reflect the correct fee amount as adopted by the Parks and Wildlife Commission and published in the August 7, 2009, issue of the Texas Register (33 TexReg 5392) , an obsolete fee reference appears in Chapter 57 (relating to Fisheries). The proposed amendment would eliminate all references to fee amounts in Chapter 57 to rectify the conflict.

2. Fiscal Note.

         Earl Chilton, Program Administrator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the proposed rule is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of administering or enforcing the proposed rule.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

         Mr. Chilton 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 rules that accurately reflect fee amounts for triploid grass carp permits.

         (B) Under the provisions of Government Code, Chapter 2006, a state agency must prepare an economic impact statement and a regulatory flexibility analysis for a rule that may have an adverse economic affect on small businesses and microbusinesses. As required by Government Code, §2006.002(g), the Office of the Attorney General has prepared guidelines to assist state agencies in determining a proposed rule’s potential adverse economic impact on small businesses. Those guidelines state that an agency need only consider a proposed rule’s “direct adverse economic impacts” to small businesses and microbusinesses to determine if any further analysis is required. For that purpose, the department considers “direct economic impact” to mean a requirement that would directly impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements; impose taxes or fees; result in lost sales or profits; adversely affect market competition; or require the purchase or modification of equipment or services.

         The department has determined that there will be no adverse economic effects on small businesses, microbusinesses, and persons required to comply with the amendment as proposed. Accordingly, the department has not prepared a regulatory flexibility analysis under Government Code, Chapter 2006.

         (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 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 proposal may be submitted to Robert Macdonald, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4775; email: robert.macdonald@tpwd.state.tx.us.

5. Statutory Authority

         The amendment is proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.027, which authorizes the commission to establish and provide for the collection of a fee to cover costs associated with the review of an application for a permit required by the Parks and

         The proposed amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 11.

         §57.125.  Triploid Grass Carp Permit; Application Fee

                 (a) The department may issue a triploid grass carp permit for stocking of triploid grass carp in private or public waters.

                 (b) To be considered for a triploid grass carp permit, the applicant shall:

                         (1) complete an initial triploid grass carp permit application on a form provided by the department;

                         (2) submit this application to the department not less than 30 days prior to the proposed stocking date; and

                         (3) remit to the department the sum of the cost of the triploid grass carp permit application fee and the triploid grass carp user fee set forth in §53.15 of this title (relating to Miscellaneous Fisheries and Wildlife Licenses and Permits), if required.

                 (c) [The department shall charge a triploid grass carp permit application fee in the amount of the sum of a $15 application flat fee plus $2.00 for each triploid grass carp requested on the triploid grass carp permit application form.] In the case of permit denial, the triploid grass carp permit application flat fee is not refundable. All fees shall be waived in the case of applications to stock triploid grass carp in public water.

                 (d) An applicant for a triploid grass carp permit or a permittee shall allow inspection of their facilities and ponds or lakes by authorized employees of the department during normal business hours.

         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.

         Issued in Austin, Texas on


Commission Agenda Item No. 2
Exhibit A3

Deer Breeder Permit Rules
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

         The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §65.608, concerning Annual Reports and Records.

         The proposed amendment would set forth the reporting requirements that deer breeder permittees would be required to meet in order to qualify for a reduced fee for permit renewal.

         Under current rule, the fee for renewing a deer breeder permit is $400. Under the terms of Parks and Wildlife Code, §43.369, as added by Senate Bill 1586 (S.B. 1586), enacted by the 81st Texas Legislature in 2009, the department is required to develop a process for a database to be shared with the Texas Animal Health Commission for the purpose of collecting data required to be submitted to each agency by deer breeders. S.B. 1586 also requires the department to provide incentives to deer breeders whose cooperation results in reduced costs and increased efficiency by offering reduced fees for deer breeder permits.

         The department has created an electronic reporting system for persons who hold deer breeder permits.  Increased utilization of the system by deer breeders will result in cost savings and greater efficiency because electronic reporting makes data more immediately available to department regulatory and enforcement personnel and eliminates the need for manual data entry by department employees. In addition, the data reported electronically is accessible by the Animal Health Commission.  The department and the Animal Health Commission have agreed that electronic reporting will also satisfy the Animal Health Commission’s reporting requirements.  Therefore, users will benefit by having to submit their reports to only one agency rather than two, and by receiving a reduced fee for reporting online.

         The department has determined that deer breeders who use the electronic reporting system are therefore reducing the costs of administering and enforcing the program. In order to implement a renewal fee that reflects this reduced administrative cost and to create an incentive for deer breeders to maximize their utilization of the electronic reporting system, the department believes that a fee reduction of 50% is appropriate. Therefore, the proposed amendment would reduce the renewal fee 50% for deer breeders who submit at least 85% of specified reports and permit activations via the department’s online system. The department selected the 85% criterion because it was necessary to establish a standard that while effectively encouraging permittees to submit all reports electronically was not so stringent that permittees could be disqualified for a reduced renewal fee because of factors beyond their control (technical problems, unavoidable circumstances, etc.) that necessitated reporting by phone or overland mail. The department expects that permittees who choose to submit required information electronically will submit all information electronically.

2. Fiscal Note.

         Mitch Lockwood, Acting Director of the Big Game Program, has determined that for each of the first five years that the proposed rule is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of administering or enforcing the proposed rule. The savings achieved by electronic reporting will be offset by reduced fees; however, the effect will be positive, since the data entered will become immediately available and the department will save time by not having to enter data manually.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

         Mr. Lockwood 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 more efficient and less costly administration of programs administered by the department.  Users will benefit by having to submit their reports to only one agency rather than two, and by receiving a reduced fee for reporting online.

         (B) Under the provisions of Government Code, Chapter 2006, a state agency must prepare an economic impact statement and a regulatory flexibility analysis for a rule that may have an adverse economic affect on small businesses and microbusinesses. As required by Government Code, §2006.002(g), the Office of the Attorney General has prepared guidelines to assist state agencies in determining a proposed rule’s potential adverse economic impact on small businesses. Those guidelines state that an agency need only consider a proposed rule’s “direct adverse economic impacts” to small businesses and microbusinesses to determine if any further analysis is required. For that purpose, the department considers “direct economic impact” to mean a requirement that would directly impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements; impose taxes or fees; result in lost sales or profits; adversely affect market competition; or require the purchase or modification of equipment or services. Compliance with the proposed rule is not mandatory; therefore, any small or microbusiness can choose to continue to report manually with no changes to current costs of complying with reporting requirements.

         The proposed rule will not impose additional recordkeeping or reporting requirements; impose taxes or fees; adversely affect market competition; or require the purchase or modification of equipment or services.

         (C) The department has determined that most if not all businesses affected by the proposed rule qualify as small or microbusinesses; however, the department has also determined that the rule as proposed will result in positive economic effects on small businesses and microbusinesses that choose to file records and reports online, since doing so will result in a 50% reduction in fee costs to each business.

         (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.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

         Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Robert Macdonald, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4775; email: robert.macdonald@tpwd.state.tx.us.

4. Statutory Authority.

         The amendment is proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §43.357, which authorizes the commission to promulgate rules governing deer breeder permits, including fees and reporting requirements.

         The proposed amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43.

§65.608. Annual Reports and Records.

                 (a) Each deer breeder shall file a legible, completed annual report on a form supplied or approved by the department by not later than May 15 of each year.

                 (b) A person other than a deer breeder holding breeder deer for nursing, breeding, or health care purposes shall maintain and, upon request, provide copies of transfer permits indicating the source of all breeder deer in the possession of that person.

                 (c) The reduced fee for renewal of a deer breeder permit specified in §53.14(a)(2) of this title (relating to Deer Management and Removal Permits) shall apply to any permittee who, in the year prior to renewal, has reported via the department’s online reporting system at least 85% of the following (in the aggregate):

                         (1) births and deaths of deer held under the permit; and

                         (2) transfer permits activated by the permittee.

         This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency’s legal authority.

         Issued in Austin, Texas, on


Commission Agenda Item No. 2
Exhibit A4

Miscellaneous Wildlife Permit Rules — Fees
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

         The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendments to §69.310, concerning Fees, and §69.404, concerning Permit Application, Issuance, and Fees.

         The proposed amendments would remove references to fee amounts in the rules. In 2009 the department increased the fees for a number of permits, including the fees for scientific research, educational display, zoological collection, and protected nongame sales permits. Although the fee amounts in Chapter 53 of the Texas Administrative Code (relating to Finance) reflect the correct fee amounts as adopted by the Parks and Wildlife Commission and published in the August 7, 2009, issue of the Texas Register (33 TexReg 5392) , obsolete fee references for these permits appear in Chapter 69 (relating to Resource Protection). The proposed amendments would eliminate all references to fee amounts in Chapter 69 to rectify the conflict.

2. Fiscal Note.

         Karen Pianka, Program Administrator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the proposed rules are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of administering or enforcing the proposed rules.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

         Ms Pianka 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 rules that accurately reflect fee amounts for scientific collection, educational display, zoological, and protected nongame permits.

         (B) Under the provisions of Government Code, Chapter 2006, a state agency must prepare an economic impact statement and a regulatory flexibility analysis for a rule that may have an adverse economic affect on small businesses and microbusinesses. As required by Government Code, §2006.002(g), the Office of the Attorney General has prepared guidelines to assist state agencies in determining a proposed rule’s potential adverse economic impact on small businesses. Those guidelines state that an agency need only consider a proposed rule’s “direct adverse economic impacts” to small businesses and microbusinesses to determine if any further analysis is required. For that purpose, the department considers “direct economic impact” to mean a requirement that would directly impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements; impose taxes or fees; result in lost sales or profits; adversely affect market competition; or require the purchase or modification of equipment or services.

         The department has determined that there will be no adverse economic effects on small businesses, microbusinesses, and persons required to comply with the amendments as proposed. Accordingly, the department has not prepared a regulatory flexibility analysis under Government Code, Chapter 2006.

         (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 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 rules.

         (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 rules.

4. Request for Public Comment.

         Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Robert Macdonald, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4775; email: robert.macdonald@tpwd.state.tx.us.

5. Statutory Authority.

         The amendments are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §43.002, which authorizes the commission to set fees for review of permit applications, inspections, laboratory analysis, or other department actions related to permits governing the collecting, holding, possession, propagation, release, display, or transport of protected wildlife for scientific research, educational display, zoological collection, or rehabilitation.

         The proposed amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43.

         §69.310. Fees.

                 (a) The application fees established in §53.15 of this title (relating to Miscellaneous Fisheries and Wildlife Licenses and Permits) for zoological collection permits, scientific research permits, and educational display permits) are nonrefundable.

                 [(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the following nonrefundable fees shall be submitted with any application for a permit under this subchapter:]

                         [(1) $150 for an application seeking a zoological collection permit; and]

                         [(2) $50 for an application seeking a scientific research, or educational display permit.]

                 (b) No fee shall be required for:

                         (1) applications on behalf of a primary or secondary educational institution;

                         (2) applications on behalf of a governmental entity required by law to conduct activities governed by this subchapter.

         This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency’s legal authority.

         Issued in Austin, Texas, on

         The amendment is proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 67, which requires the commission to establish any limitations on the taking, possession, transportation, exportation, sale, and offering for sale of nongame fish and wildlife.

         The proposed amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 67.

         §69.404. Permit Application, Issuance, and Fees.

                 (a) A person may apply for a sales permit by submitting a completed department-supplied application form and the permit fee specified in §53.15 of this title (relating to Miscellaneous Fisheries and Wildlife License and Permits) [of $200].

                 (b) – (e) (No change.)

         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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