As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on September 13, 2017
H.R. 3668 would change the way silencers for firearms are taxed. Under the bill, silencers would no longer be taxed at $200 per unit, but would instead be taxed at 10 percent of their value. All revenues derived from their sale would be deposited into the Wildlife Restoration Fund and could be spent without further appropriation. In addition, the bill would authorize the appropriation of $250 million over the 2018-2022 period. Finally, the bill would amend existing laws and establish new laws related to the management of federal lands, including several changes that would affect the use and transport of hunting and fishing equipment on federal lands.
The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates that enacting H.R. 3668 would reduce revenues by $139 million over the 2017-2027 period. In addition, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would increase direct spending by $146 million over that period. Combined, those effects would increase federal deficits over the next 10 years by $285 million. Because enacting the bill would affect direct spending and revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures apply.
Finally, assuming appropriation of the authorized and necessary amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $174 million over the 2018-2022 period, with the remainder spending in years after 2021.
CBO estimates that enacting S. 733 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits by more than $5 billion in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
CBO has reviewed the nontax provisions of H.R. 3668 and determined that they contain intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). The bill would preempt state and local laws regulating the transportation of firearms across state lines and the taxation of firearm silencers. CBO estimates that the costs of the preemption to those governments would be small and well below the annual threshold establish in UMRA for intergovernmental mandates ($78 million in 2017, adjusted annually for inflation).
CBO has determined that the nontax provisions of H.R. 3668 would impose private-sector mandates, as defined in UMRA, by eliminating the ability of plaintiffs to seek judicial review of federal rules to remove certain gray wolves from the endangered species list and eliminating the ability of plaintiffs to seek compensation for damages occurring at some public target ranges. CBO estimates that the cost of the mandates would be small and fall well below the annual threshold established in UMRA for private-sector mandates ($156 million in 2017, adjusted annually for inflation).