S. 2156, Migratory Bird Habitat Investment and Enhancement Act

Cost Estimate
August 29, 2012

As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
on July 25, 2012

S. 2156 would allow the Department of the Interior (DOI) to raise the price charged for Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps (referred to as federal duck stamps), subject to annual caps on the amount. Federal duck stamps are annual permits to hunt migratory waterfowl that are sold by the federal government. The stamps also allow entry to National Wildlife Refuges that charge entrance fees. Sales proceeds are used to acquire wetlands for inclusion in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

CBO estimates that enacting S. 2156 would increase revenues by $132 million over the 2013-2022 period. That increase would be offset by an equal amount of additional direct spending. Because the bill would affect direct spending and revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that the net impact on the federal budget over the 2013-2022 period would not be significant. In addition, we estimate that implementing the bill would have no significant effect on discretionary spending.

S. 2156 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.

By increasing the cost of duck stamps, S. 2156 would impose a private-sector mandate, as defined in UMRA, on purchasers of those stamps. Based on information from gaming officials, CBO estimates that the incremental cost of complying with the mandate would fall well below the annual threshold for private sector mandates ($146 million in 2012, adjusted annually for inflation).