Sporting Taxes

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Are you having fun yet? Government agencies that collect taxes on recreational pursuits and equipment hope you are, because it means millions of dollars in revenue.

What’s taxed? For starters, you’ll generally need a state or federal license, renewable annually, for fishing and/or hunting. Exemptions apply, so check with your local tax collector’s office.

Depending on where you live, purchasing a boat, trailer, motorcycle, recreational vehicle or plane can cost you sales tax and registration fees. In some places, you may have to pay an additional discretionary sales tax as well.

On the national level, Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration (SFR), which was established in 1950, assesses excise taxes on tackle boxes, rods and lures. These taxes, levied on the manufacturers of fishing equipment, are distributed on a state by state basis.

How are the taxes used? Fees from hunting and fishing licenses provide money for habitat management, research, educational programs and law enforcement.

Sales tax collected on recreational vehicles is used to fund health care, schools, prisons and transportation programs.

SFR funds are used for freshwater fisheries management, research, educating students about aquatic ecosystems, enhancing habitat, and maintaining quality fishing access.

Having fun in the great outdoors can be taxing. Whether it’s sporting or not is your call.

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