New “Partner With a Payer” Video Explains the Impact of Excise Taxes on Public Access to Boating and Fishing Opportunities
February 26, 2024

NSSF, ASA, SOBA, USFWS and Washington Department of Natural Resources partner to continue providing boating and fishing access.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, in partnership with the American Sportfishing Association, the Washington Department of Natural Resources, States Organization for Boating Access and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has released another film in the “Partner with a Payer®” series — a collection of videos highlighting the importance of wildlife conservation and management. The latest video, “Waterways for All: Improving and Expanding Public Fishing and Boating Access,” showcases the work being done to continue providing public boat launches and public fishing piers throughout the United States.

To fund these conservation efforts, the Sport Fish Restoration Act authorizes a small federal excise tax on certain items — 10 percent on fishing equipment; 3 percent tax on electric boat motors, tackle and fly boxes; import duties on tackle, pleasure boats and yachts; and a portion of the federal gas tax that is attributable to motorboats and small engines. Since 1952, these excise taxes have contributed and distributed more than $11.3 billion (over $17 billion when adjusted for inflation) to individual states. Together, these excise taxes fund public boat ramps, fisheries projects and aquatic education, providing countless public outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the United States of America.

Kathy Hollar, Division Manager, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, explained how imperative the partnerships are to outdoor conservation and recreation. “Our industry manufacturers are vitally important to the Sportfish Restoration Program. Without their federal excise tax contributions, we wouldn’t have had seven decades of fish restoration and boating access projects across the country for all of America to enjoy,” Hollar stated.

Representatives from the Washington Department of Natural Resources, American Sportfishing Association, the States Organization for Boating Access and USFWS came together to tour the Defiance Boats factory and other marine facilities. Throughout the tours, they learned what it takes to generate the excise tax revenues that support sportfish restoration and increase outdoor recreation participation in Washington and across the country. The state and federal agency staff also discussed specific projects where funds have provided key opportunities for the public to launch, dock and moor boats, as well as to fish and engage in other water-related activities.

Defiance Boats supports the initiatives that create long-lasting opportunities for the public to participate in outdoor activities. “We have only a certain amount of fish and wildlife, so it’s important that we take care of those stocks not just for the boaters of today, but for my kids and the future generations that will come. Programs like this are really important to help make that happen,” said Bo Palmer, CEO, Defiance Boats, Allied Boats, Defiance Marine.

The group also toured several boat ramps, fishing piers and other nearby facilities built with Sportfish Restoration funds. “In Washington state, there has been a huge impact. We’ve constructed over 15,000 linear feet of boat moorage, 400 or so boat slips and also some upland amenities for those boaters such as restrooms, laundry facilities and showers,” said Karl Jacobs, Senior Outdoor Grants Manager, Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. He continued, “States are working really hard to put that money to good work.”

This project was funded by the Multistate Conservation Grant Program. The latest video and others in the series were produced by Shine United LLC / Kingdom Filmworks.