I mentioned that the outdoor recreation industry beat back a proposal to place an excise tax on their products for wildlife funding, similar to the tax that hunters and shooters pay on guns (11% on rifles and shotguns and 10% on handguns).
Here’s a little more detail from an outfit I didn’t know existed, the RewildingEarth. The key takeaway is that hunting is declining, but because of the hysterical gun buying in the Obama years – the “Obama bump” – the finds generated by Robinson-Pittman remained basically stable at $1.1 billion. But had the backpack tax been implemented in 2000, it would have generated $6.4 billion.
The idea of the backpack tax seems to be dead politically, perhaps because hunters are rather proud of their role in all of this, and have not pushed for hikers, birders, and others to pay their fair share. In my own opinion, it was shameful for the outdoor industry to oppose this tax, and I hope it will be proposed again and finally implemented some day.