Ohio gets smaller share of excise tax dollars
While hardly a drop in the bucket, Ohio’s share of federal aid dollars in the form of tax receipts from sales of hunting and fishing licenses and a few other sources do not stack up highly with many other states.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is distributing the funds to all 50 states and U.S. territories. The funds are generated through excise taxes on hunting, shooting, and fishing equipment and boat fuel.
The monies are authorized by Congress through the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act and Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act.
They are administered through the service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program and are distributed based upon a formula that includes a state’s size as well as the number of hunting/fishing licenses sold.
The recipient state wildlife agencies have matched these funds with approximately $7.3 billion throughout the years, primarily through hunting and fishing license revenues, said the service’s deputy director Margaret Everson.
“Thanks to industry, states and hunters, shooters, anglers and boaters, America’s wildlife and natural resources and the opportunities they provide will be available for generations to come.” Everson said.
In the latest round of disbursements – which have totaled more than $21 billion since Congress created the funds – Ohio’s share of the pie in Fiscal 2019 includes $7,396,090 under the “Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration” account and $13,737,911 under the sibling “Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration account.”
And though Ohio’s approximately $7.4 million in federal aid money for sport fish-related projects may seem like big bucks, the figure is dwarfed by more than a few other states. Among them being: Alaska – $18.27 million (the largest along with Texas); California – $17.41 million; Florida – $12,84 million; and Texas – $18.27 million (the largest along with Alaska).
Ohio sits alongside such states as Tennessee – $7.48 million; Arizona – $7.50 million; Louisiana $7.12 million; and Oklahoma – $7.90 million.
Discounting the nation’s several territories which each received an amount, the states with the smallest amount awarded are Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia – each with $3.65 million.
Much the same can be said for the hunting- and shooting-associated funding when it comes to disbursement of dollars as to which state gets what. Here, among the top revenue-receiving states are Alaska – $28.22 million; California – $21.99 million; Texas – $30.95 million (the largest); and Pennsylvania – $23.56 million.
Joining Ohio in the also-ran category are New Mexico – $13.33 million; Illinois – $13.73 million; Louisiana – $13.43 million; and Idaho – $13.24 million.
Discounting territories, the states receiving the smallest figure were Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont – each with $4.05 million.
One can only wonder what the actual disbursements would be if the formula was based solely on the number of hunting and fishing licenses – combined with sales of hunting and fishing gear – and minus state size being part of the equation.