The Pittman-Robertson & Dingell-Johnston Acts: from where does the money come?

Many state wildlife agencies including the Nevada Dept. of Wildlife get a majority of their funding from federal tax transfers and grants. Most of that money comes from two federal excise tax programs commonly known as the Pittman-Robertson Act (PRA) and the Dingell-Johnston Act (DJA). Sportsmen and wildlife agencies, including our very own NDoW, often claim that this money is principally hunter-generated. As it turns out, that’s demonstrably untrue.

In 2013 the PRA generated 59% of the combined excise tax revenue and the DJA 41%. Here’s the breakdown of revenue (as percentages) by category of activity, according to ATF and USDFW figures:

  • 28% from motorboat & small engine fuel
  • 22% from rifles & shotguns
  • 18% from pistols and revolvers
  • 18% from ammunition
  • 7% from import duties on boats & interest on trust fund deposits
  • 7% from fishing equipment, tackle, trolling motors & archery equipment