Commission Agenda Item No. 9
Presenter:  Andy Goldbloom

Action
Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Program Decal Fee Rule
August 25, 2011

I.       Executive Summary:  This item proposes to increase the fee for the annual Off-Highway Vehicle decal from $8 to $16.

II.      Discussion:  The Off-Highway Vehicle Trail and Recreation Area Program was enacted by the 79th Texas Legislature via Senate Bill 1311 that directed the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to establish, maintain and improve public recreational areas for use by owners and riders of off-highway vehicles.  The program is funded by a user fee that requires off-highway vehicle riders to purchase an annual decal to legally ride on public off-highway vehicle areas or trails.  The fee for the annual OHV decal has been $8 since the inception of the program.  In FY2011, the Department sold about 21,000 decals generating nearly $170,000.  Funds generated by the program have been utilized to match federal funds to create new and improve existing off-highway vehicle recreation areas and safe riding programs to foster the responsible use of off-highway vehicles.

The 82nd Texas Legislature did not appropriate funding for the program for the FY2012-2013 biennium, but included a provision allowing the Department to increase the fee for the annual decal and appropriated the fee increase to the Department to continue operation of the program.   The Department proposes to increase the Off-Highway Vehicle decal fee from $8 to $16 for the 2012-2013 biennium to continue operation of the program.  Without the fee increase the program would be suspended for the 2012-2013 biennium.  Without the fee increase, several off-highway vehicle recreation areas that are under development or expansion and OHV safety programs would be put on hold and their long-term economic viability put at risk.  With the fee increase, the annual fee for the Texas Off-Highway Vehicle Program decal will still be lower than that of neighboring states that manage similar programs.

Notice of the proposed decal fee increase was published in the July 22, 2011 issue of the Texas Register (36 TexReg 4631-4632).  Staff will present a summary of public comment at the time of the meeting.

III.     Recommendation:  The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to 31 TAC §53.17, concerning Miscellaneous Fees, increasing the fee for the Annual Off-Highway Vehicle Program Decal from $8 to $16, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the July 22, 2011 issue of the Texas Register (36 TexReg 4631-4632).”

Attachments – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Proposed Off-Highway Vehicle Program Decal Fee Rule

Commission Agenda Item No. 9
Exhibit A

RULES REQUIRED OR AUTHORIZED BY LEGISLATION
HOUSE BILL 1 (GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT)
OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE DECAL FEE

PROPOSAL PREAMBLE

1. Introduction.

         The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §53.17, concerning Miscellaneous Fees. The proposed amendment would increase the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) decal fee from $8 to $16.

         Parks and Wildlife Code, Section §29.003, requires that an OHV decal be obtained and placed on an OHV being operated on “public land over which the department has authority, on land purchased or leased by the department, on other public land, or on land purchased or developed under a grant made under Section §29.008 or any other grant program operated or administered by the department on which off-highway vehicle recreation is legal.”  Parks and Wildlife Code, Section §29.003 establishes a fee for the OHV decal of $8 or an amount set by the Parks and Wildlife Commission.

         Under the provisions of House Bill 1 (General Appropriations Act), Article VI, Parks and Wildlife Department, Rider 36, enacted by the 82nd Texas Legislature, Regular Session (2011), the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is appropriated all receipts collected from increasing the OHV decal fee from $8 to $16, pursuant to Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 29, for the purpose of implementing and administering the program.  The department has determined that it is necessary to increase the fee for the OHV decal in order to continue operation of the OHV program. If the fee is not increased, the department would be forced to suspend the OHV program for the 2012-2013 biennium, as there are no funds appropriated for it other than as a consequence of the proposed fee increase.  The revenue from the OHV decal fee is used to establish and maintain a public system of trails and other recreational area for use by owners and riders of off-highway vehicles.   

2. Fiscal Note.

         Mr. Andy Goldbloom, Recreational Trails Program Manager, has determined that for each of the first five years that the rule as proposed is in effect, there will be fiscal implications to state government as a result of enforcing or administering the rule. The department estimates that the increased fee for the OHV decal will generate additional revenue of a minimum of $175,362 per fiscal year, which is based on the anticipated sale of an additional 21,920 OHV decals per year at $16 per decal. Between 2005 and 2010, sales of OHV decals have risen from fewer than 2,000 to more than 21,000, and the department estimates, based on those trends, that OHV decal sales will continue to increase at a minimum of 1.5% per year.

         There will be no fiscal implications to other units of state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rule as proposed.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

         Mr. Goldbloom 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 enhanced funding for the creation and maintenance of trail systems enjoyed by the public.

         (B) There will be an adverse economic effect on persons required to comply with the rule as proposed, namely, an increase of $8 per person in the cost of obtaining an OHV decal.

         (C) 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 effect on small businesses and micro-businesses. 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 micro-businesses 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 the proposed rules will not impose negative economic impacts on small businesses or microbusinesses. Accordingly, the department has not prepared a regulatory flexibility analysis under Government Code, Chapter 2006.

         (D) 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.

         (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 rule may be submitted to Andy Goldbloom, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-8128 (e-mail: andy.goldbloom@tpwd.state.tx.us).

5. Statutory Authority.

         The amendment is proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, §29.003(b), which authorizes the  commission to establish a fee for an off-highway vehicle decal

         The proposed amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 29.

         §53.17. Miscellaneous Fees.

                 (a) Off-highway vehicle decal — $16[$8];

                 (b) (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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