S. 231, Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2013

Cost Estimate
July 18, 2014

As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on June 25, 2014

CBO estimates that implementing S. 231 would have no significant discretionary cost to the federal government. Because the act would affect on-budget direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply, but CBO estimates that those effects would not be significant. S. 231 would not affect revenues.

The Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-241) directed the United States Postal Service (USPS) to issue a special stamp for first-class mail. Any amounts collected from the special stamp (called a semipostal), after accounting for USPS administrative costs, were transferred to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for expenditure on programs to support endangered species. The Postal Service stopped selling these stamps at the end of 2013; S. 231 would direct USPS to make these stamps available until at least October of 2017.

We anticipate that the Postal Service would charge 60 cents for each multinational species semipostal stamp, and payments above the regular first-class postage rate (currently 49 cents) would be treated as offsetting collections (that is, a credit against spending) of the Postal Service. Based on past sales of this semipostal, we expect that the increase in offsetting collections from enacting S. 231 would be about $1 million annually. Payments of those funds to the USFWS would be outlays of the Postal Service and offsetting collections to the USFWS, which would spend those amounts, mostly in the same year. CBO estimates that the net change in outlays of the Postal Service (which is off-budget) and the USFWS (which is on-budget) would not be significant in any year.

S. 231 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.