Resource Protection:

Using Gasoline Taxes To Fund the Nongame Act

RCED-88-87BR: Published: Jan 29, 1988. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO: (1) estimated the potential revenues available from gasoline taxes to fund the Nongame Program to conserve fish and wildlife species not taken for sport, fur, or food; and (2) obtained federal officials' opinions on the merits of using such revenues for the program.

GAO found that: (1) residential outdoor power equipment consumed an estimated 248 to 563 million gallons of gasoline each year; (2) this consumption would generate between $21.3 million and $48.3 million in tax revenues at the current excise tax rate and would account for less than 0.5 percent of the taxes collected in 1986 for the Highway Trust Fund; (3) the Federal Highway Administration opposed taking money from the Highway Trust Fund for wildlife conservation, since it was unrelated to motor fuel use and highways; (4) the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supported it as a revenue source, since it would provide significant and stable funds for state planning and program development; and (5) the Department of the Treasury had no specific views on the merits of diverting the revenues, but suggested methods for effectively administering a nongame trust fund.

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