DID YOU KNOW THAT 10% OF THAT NEW FLY REEL GOES TO SUPPORT FISHERIES?
It’s true. Thanks to the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937 and the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950, a 10% excise tax on all hunting and fishing equipment goes into a trust fund to support fish and wildlife management.
The US public lands and the opportunities they offer to hunters and anglers are unmatched in most countries. If you are an American angler, a short conversation with European anglers will leave you thanking your lucky stars you were born in the US of A. Our public lands and National Parks are the finest anywhere but we too often take them for granted.
The hidden engine behind our fish and wildlife management is this 10% tax. It has brought species like white tail deer and turkey back from the brink and puts fish on your fly regularly. I know taxes are a hot button subject and I’m not looking to start a political debate so let me be clear. No one wants this tax to go away. It has been a boon, not only for the sporting public but for sporting manufacturers as well.
The idea is that by creating a quality hunting and fishing experience, more people will hunt and fish and they will spend more money doing it. It’s worked very well. The numbers are better documented for hunting than fishing. Hunters spend between five and ten billion dollars a year, generating as much as $324,000,000 in management funding. Firearm manufacturers see a return on their tax investment of around 1000%! You can read more about this (HERE) (HERE) & (HERE)
It’s pretty clear that Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson have been good to both the economy and the ecology, but there is one place where they come up short. The tax is figured on the initial sale of the product. That means that if a manufacturer sells a $500 retail product, made in America, to a fly shop for $250, that manufacturer pays $25 in tax. If a distributor sells $500 retail product, made overseas, to a fly shop for $250 they are taxed on the price they paid to the overseas manufacturer. Likely $125 or less. They pay $12 in tax.
Clearly, there is a disadvantage in manufacturing in the US. Odds are that doesn’t set well with you. I know it doesn’t for me but that’s the law. There are a whole bunch of laws I don’t like so I’m not going to get started on that debate. What I would like to point out is that when you spend your money on American-made products, twice as much of it goes to fish and wildlife management.
If you need another reason to buy US products, there it is. US manufacturers do more to support fishing and hunting on our public lands and for that I would like to thank them! And by thank them I mean buy their products.