This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
July 18th, 2005

Follow YOUR Money

I'm sure most of you know there is a 10% excise tax on fishing tackle. But do you know where the money goes? Initially it goes into an account called the Sport Fish Restoration Account. The amount of money paid into the account for the 2005 year for all fishing tackle amounts to $100,699,000. Look like a lot of money? That is only part of it.

The money for the year 2005 was expected to be higher by $110 million, the new money to come from gas taxes from a new federal Highway Bill allocating more gas tax money to sportfishing, but it didn't happen in time. You do need to note the main source for funding is from gas taxes. 67% of this year's total is from gas taxes - 22.6 % from all fishing tackle.

Here is how/where that money is spent:

Even though the 'extra' gas money didn't show up this year, there was money carried over which allowed the states and territories to share $294,691,282.

Shares are determined by a formula based on fishing license sales and land-to-water ratios. A state with strong license sales and many miles of shoreline gets more than other states.

Alaska, California and Texas each received the largest apportionment possible this year, $14.7 million.

Good news for those of us who fish, the money spent in previous years by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) to promote sportfishing and boating will be focused more on the fishing rather than boating sector. The boating industry has formed and funded its own organization, Grow Boating, (, which Castwell wrote about back in January of 2005, Grow Fly Fishing.

Part of the 'new' money to the RBFF can already be seen on the new website, "Take Me Fishing". We are delighted the RBFF choose to use information from FAOL as the basis for their Fly Fishing sections. You can see them HERE, (the site reads best in Microsoft, not in Netscape).

The monies paid to your state are controlled by your state's Fish and Game Department/Commission, whatever name it goes by in your state. You can have input into how and where the money is spent. Some is earmarked for purchase of access for the public, some for restoration projects, some for public education and other uses. It is a great opportunity to help your local regions fisheries and watersheds - as well as to preserve what you have.

The title of this article is "Follow YOUR Money" - this really IS your money. Get involved. ~ DLB

Credits: Some of the information and charts used in this column are excerpts from Fishing Tackle Retailer, July 2005.

If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

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