In the corner of my home office sits a box full of 2013 receipts, W-2's, cancelled checks, mortgage statements and a lot of other related paperwork. I have not paid much attention to the box lately, but I know it is there. It is waiting for me.
Like it or not, I need to start working on my 2013 tax returnÉand soon. The new computer tax programs have helped, but it is still a major chore, it takes time, and it is not fun.
The taxes we pay provide funds for many of the services and programs provided by federal and local government agencies. Police departments, fire departments, public schools, transportation, parks, health and welfare and many moreÉ are all paid for by the taxpayer.
It comes as a surprise to many people when they hear that the agency that manages all of the wildlife in the state, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), is not financed by income tax, property tax, or sales tax.
IDFG is funded through license and tag sales paid by hunters, anglers, and trappers; and excise taxes those same people pay on hunting and fishing equipment. Those who hunt, fish, and trap pay for the management of wildlife in Idaho.
In 2013, retail sales of wildlife related recreation equipment in Idaho produced $105 million in Idaho sales tax revenue for the state general fund. Yet, Idaho Fish and Game does not receive any money from the general fund.
At no cost to the Idaho tax-payer (one that doesn't buy a hunting or fishing license), IDFG employs112 Conservation Officers who enforce all laws of the State of Idaho, but focus on enforcing wildlife laws.
At no cost to the Idaho general fund, IDFG manages 365,000 acres of state land and 32 wildlife management areas, provides and maintains 350 boating and fishing access sites, and plants 32 million fish a year in over 600 lakes and streams.