Excise Tax Benefits

Excise Tax Benefits

The Benefits to Business from Hunting and Fishing Excise Taxes

This study, conducted by Southwick Associates and Andrew Loftus Consulting found that federal excise taxes collected on sportfishing equipment generated a substantial return on investment (ROI) between 1955 and 2006.

The ROIs in the new report were determined by comparing the amount of excise taxes collected annually to the amount of purchases made annually by sportsmen and women during the respective timeframes. By law, the excise taxes only can be used to maintain fish and wildlife populations, provide public access and support programs that directly benefit hunters, shooting sports enthusiasts and anglers.

On average, from 1955 to 2006, the sportfishing industry contributed $110 million in annual tax payments/import duties, but generated $2.3 billion in annual taxable equipment sales.

The excise taxes are collected quarterly under the Sport Fish Restoration Act.

Funding is then apportioned to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies based on land area and state fishing and hunting license sales. Agencies combine these funds with the license revenues to conserve fish and wildlife and their habitats and create recreational and educational opportunities. In 2009 alone, more than $740 million was made available to states and territories in addition to the nearly $1.4 billion total paid by hunters and anglers in license fees.

According to the ROI study, outdoor industry excise taxes have helped to:

  • Increase Atlantic striped bass populations by nearly 500 percent since 1982; leading to a 1,000 percent increase in the number of angler trips and generating more than $68 million on average per year in related fishing equipment sales.
  • Improve fishing in the Great Lakes from nearly nonexistent in the 1950s to world class for salmon, trout, walleye and yellow perch; generating more than $2 billion in retail sales and supporting more than 58,000 jobs.

The report concludes that a decrease or elimination of outdoor industry excise tax funding would reduce long-term investment in fish and game population management, public access and recruitment of future customers. Such a circumstance would, in turn, cause a downward spiral in participation, which would further diminish consumer spending on the equipment produced by manufacturers.

The Benefits to Business from Hunting and Fishing Excise Taxes

Summary (PDF)
Technical Report (PDF)

For more information, contact Communications Director Mary Jane Williamson, (703) 519-9691, x227.