INCREASE IN PILT COULD JEOPARDIZE FISCAL SOLVENCY OF GAME COMMISSION
Pennsylvania Game Commission Legislative Liaison Joseph J. Neville today urged
the House of Representatives to either amend or reject Senate Bill 868, which,
if enacted, would triple the agency's annual payment in lieu of tax (PILT) to
more than $5.1 million.
"The Game Commission already pays counties, municipalities and school districts
in which State Game Lands are located more than $1.7 million," Neville said.
"As the Game Commission doesn't receive any state taxpayer dollars, that means
the entire PILT payment comes directly from hunters and trappers license dollars
and only from hunters and trappers.
"Pennsylvania hunters and trappers also pay state taxes that are used to cover
the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources PILT for state forest and
state parks. So, in essence, hunters and trappers pay twice, while other
taxpayers only pay once."
Neville noted that all Pennsylvanians can use State Game Lands, which are set
aside for the protection and propagation of the state's wildlife and for public
hunting and trapping opportunities.
"All Pennsylvanians benefit from the continued viability of State Game Lands and
by healthy wildlife populations," Neville said. "At the same time, people
living in communities with State Game Lands benefit by being able to watch
wildlife or hunt or trap, or just by living next to a viable ecosystem."
Neville noted that a growing number of organizations have called for new streams
of revenue to fund Pennsylvania's wildlife management programs. Additionally,
the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, in reports issued in 2003 and
2006, noted that the Game Commission's ability to implement important programs
and projects outlined in the agency's Strategic Plan are stymied by a lack of
sufficient revenues. License increases must be approved by the Legislature.