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105th Congress                                            Rept. 105-482
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 2d Session                                                      Part 1
_______________________________________________________________________


 
             TAXPAYER CONTRIBUTIONS TO NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM

                                _______
                                

                 April 21, 1998.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


  Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 755]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 755) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow 
individuals to designate any portion of their income tax 
overpayments, and to make other contributions, for the benefit 
of units of the National Park System, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend 
that the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. DESIGNATION OF OVERPAYMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE 
                    BENEFIT OF UNITS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter A of chapter 61 of the Internal Revenue 
Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new part:

   ``PART IX--DESIGNATION OF OVERPAYMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE 
              BENEFIT OF UNITS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM

``Sec. 6097. Designation.

``SEC. 6097. DESIGNATION.

    ``(a) In General.--In the case of an individual, with respect to 
each taxpayer's return for the taxable year of the tax imposed by 
chapter 1, such taxpayer may designate that--
          ``(1) a specified portion (but not less than $1) of any 
        overpayment of tax for such taxable year, and
          ``(2) any cash contribution which the taxpayer includes with 
        such return,
shall be used for the benefit of units of the National Park System.
    ``(b) Manner and Time of Designation.--A designation under 
subsection (a) may be made with respect to any taxable year only at the 
time of filing the return of the tax imposed by chapter 1 for such 
taxable year. Such designation shall be made in such manner as the 
Secretary prescribes by regulations except that such designation shall 
be made either on the first page of the return or on the page bearing 
the taxpayer's signature.
    ``(c) Overpayments Treated as Refunded.--For purposes of this 
title, any portion of an overpayment of tax designated under subsection 
(a) shall be treated as being refunded to the taxpayer as of the last 
date prescribed for filing the return of tax imposed by chapter 1 
(determined without regard to extensions) or, if later, the date the 
return is filed.''
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of parts for subchapter A of 
chapter 61 of such Code is amended by adding at the end thereof the 
following new item:

``Part IX. Designation of overpayments and contributions for the 
benefit of units of the National Park System.''

    (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall 
apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1997.

SEC. 2. NATIONAL PARKS TRUST FUND.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter A of chapter 98 of the Internal Revenue 
Code of 1986 (relating to trust fund code) is amended by adding at the 
end the following new section:

``SEC. 9512. NATIONAL PARKS TRUST FUND.

    ``(a) Creation of Trust Fund.--There is established in the Treasury 
of the United States a trust fund to be known as the `National Parks 
Trust Fund', consisting of such amounts as may be appropriated or 
credited to the National Parks Trust Fund as provided in this section 
or section 9602(b).
    ``(b) Transfer to National Parks Trust Fund of Amounts 
Designated.--There is hereby appropriated to the National Parks Trust 
Fund amounts equivalent to the amounts designated under section 6097 
and received in the Treasury.
    ``(c) Expenditures From Trust Fund.--
          ``(1) In general.--The Secretary shall pay, not less often 
        than quarterly, to the Director of the National Park Service 
        from the National Parks Trust Fund an amount equal to the 
        amount in such Fund as of the time of such payment less any 
        administrative expenses of the Secretary which may be paid 
        under paragraph (2). Amounts paid under this subsection shall 
        be used only for design, construction, rehabilitation, and 
        repair of high priority facilities that directly enhance the 
        experience of park visitors, including natural, cultural, and 
        historical resource protection projects, within the units of 
        the National Park System and may not be used for land 
        acquisition.
          ``(2) Administrative expenses.--Amounts in the National Parks 
        Trust Fund shall be available to pay the administrative 
        expenses of the Department of the Treasury directly allocable 
        to--
                  ``(A) modifying the individual income tax return 
                forms to carry out section 6097,
                  ``(B) carrying out this chapter with respect to such 
                Fund, and
                  ``(C) processing amounts received under section 6097 
                and transferring such amounts to such Fund.
    ``(d) Study.--No later than 2 years following the date of enactment 
of this section, the Secretary of the Interior shall transmit to the 
Congress a study of the effects of the program established under the 
National Parks Trust Fund. The study shall include information on the 
amount of money paid into the Fund, the projects that were undertaken 
with funds from the Trust Fund, and any other information that the 
Secretary of the Interior deems useful in evaluating the program's 
effectiveness.''
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for such subchapter 
A is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

``Sec. 9512. National Parks Trust Fund.''

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 755 is to amend the Internal Revenue 
Code of 1986 to allow individuals to designate any portion of 
their income tax overpayments, and to make other contributions, 
for the benefit of units of the National Park System.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    H.R. 755 would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to 
require the Internal Revenue Service to place a line on Federal 
income tax forms which would allow individual taxpayers to 
voluntarily donate one dollar or more toward the care of the 
National Park System. The donation consists of amounts in 
addition to the Federal tax owed by the individual, or from the 
refund the Internal Revenue Service owes the taxpayer. 
Participation is voluntary. The bill also establishes the 
National Parks Trust Fund within the Department of the 
Treasury. Monies in the Fund will be made available to the 
Director of the National Park Service for operation and 
maintenance of National Park System units. No land acquisition 
is permitted with the funds.
    The concept is based on the established Presidential 
Campaign Checkoff on the Federal income tax form, and the 
successful tax checkoff programs in 41 States and the District 
of Columbia, that provide millions of dollars on an annual 
basis for a wide range of public interests, including many 
environmental and park-related recreational programs.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 755 was introduced on February 13, 1997, by 
Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN). The bill was referred 
to the Committee on Ways and Means and additionally to the 
Committee on Resources. Within the Committee on Resources, the 
bill was referred to the Subcommittee on National Parks and 
Public Lands. On July 22, 1997, the Subcommittee held a hearing 
on H.R. 755, where testimony was received that generally 
supported the bill. The National Park Service provided 
Administration comments on how the funds would be utilized if 
the National Park Trust Fund were established in the Department 
of the Treasury, but the Treasury Department deferred testimony 
until the Ways and Means Committee exerted its primary 
jurisdiction on H.R. 755. On October 7, 1997, the Subcommittee 
met to mark up H.R. 755. An amendment to require the Secretary 
of the Interior to submit a study to Congress on the effects of 
this program two years after implementation was offered by 
Congressman Duncan, and adopted by voice vote. An amendment to 
clarify that funds derived from this program may be used for 
resource protection was offered by Congressman Duncan, and 
adopted by voice vote. The bill as amended was then ordered 
favorably reported to the Full Committee by voice vote. On 
November 5, 1997, the Full Resources Committee met to consider 
H.R. 755. No further amendments were offered and the bill as 
amended was ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by voice vote.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    With respect to the requirements of clause 2(l)(3) of rule 
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and clause 
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, 
the Committee on Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Article I, section 8 and Article IV, section 3 of the 
Constitution of the United States grant Congress the authority 
to enact H.R. 755.

                        Cost of the Legislation

    Clause 7(a) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs which would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 755. However, clause 7(d) of that rule provides that this 
requirement does not apply when the Committee has included in 
its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                     Compliance With House Rule XI

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(B) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, H.R. 
755 does not contain any new budget authority, or credit 
authority. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 
enactment of H.R. 755 would affect government receipts and 
direct spending, but with a net budgetary effect of less than 
$.5 million a year.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(D) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 755.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(C) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 755 
from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, February 11, 1998.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 755, a bill to 
amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow individuals to 
designate any portion of their income tax overpayments, and to 
make other contributions, for the benefit of units of the 
National Park System.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Deborah 
Reis (for federal costs), and Richard Kasten (for revenues).
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 755--A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow 
        individuals to designate any portion of their income tax 
        overpayments, and to make other contributions, for the benefit 
        of units of the National Park System

    Summary: CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 755 would cost 
about $4 million over 10 years. Of that total, about $2 million 
would be for start-up costs in 1998, subject to appropriation 
of the necessary amounts. The remaining $2 million is the 
estimated 10-year sum of the small annual differences between 
changes in federal revenues and direct spending. Revenues would 
increase by about $6 million a year between fiscal years 1999 
and 2008, but outlays from new direct spending authority would 
increase by a slightly larger amount each year.
    H.R. 755 would affect government receipts and direct 
spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply. The 
net budgetary effect, however, would be less than $500,000 a 
year. The legislation contains no private-sector or 
intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) and would have no significant impact 
on the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 755 would allow federal taxpayers to contribute money 
to the National Park Service (NPS) at the same time as they 
file their individual income tax returns. The procedure 
specified by the bill for making such contributions is usually 
called a ``check-off'' system because taxpayers indicate their 
desire to contribute to a particular program by placing a check 
mark in a box on their tax forms. The tax form may include 
additional lines or boxes on which to specify the amount of the 
donation. Unlike the current check-off for the Presidential 
Election Campaign Fund, a contribution to the national parks 
trust fund established by H.R. 755 would require a reduction in 
the taxpayer's refund or a cash contribution submitted with the 
tax return. (Contributions from both sources are treated as 
miscellaneous revenues for budgetary purposes.) Under existing 
law, taxpayers who itemize their deductions could deduct their 
contribution on their next federal tax return.
    The bill also would create within the U.S. Treasury a 
national parks trust fund, consisting of the amounts 
contributed by taxpayers and interest earned on fund 
investments. Proceeds to the fund (including interest) would be 
available without further appropriation for operations, 
maintenance, and construction at NPS sites and certain 
administrative expenses of the Department of Treasury.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: CBO estimates 
that enacting H.R. 755 would increase both miscellaneous 
revenues and budget authority by nearly the same amount--$6 
million--in each fiscal year beginning in 1999. Because the 
contributions would be tax-deductible, however, net revenues 
would always be slightly less than the amounts deposited in the 
proposed trust fund. In addition, the new budget authority for 
spending from the fund would always be slightly more than the 
amounts of contributions because of interest earnings on fund 
balances. Over the first five years, the aggregate effect of 
these factors would be negligible. Once the program becomes 
more established and outlays begin to catch up with budget 
authority, however, the effect would be more pronounced. The 
net cost to the federal government would be less than $0.5 
million each year but would total nearly $2 million over the 
first 10 years of the program. In addition, assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts, one-time initial costs 
for implementing the bill would be less than $2 million in 
1998. The estimated budgetary impact of the bill is shown in 
the following table. The costs of this legislation fall within 
budget functions 300 (natural resources and environment) and 
800 (general government).
    Basis of estimate: For purposes of this estimate, CBO 
assumes that H.R. 755 would be enacted by the middle of fiscal 
year 1998, and that the government would begin to receive 
taxpayer contributions beginning in calendar year 1999. This 
estimate is based on information provided by the Departments of 
Treasury and the Interior, the Federation of Tax Administrators 
(FTA), the National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA), 
and officials of state taxing authorities.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal years, in millions of dollars--     
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              1998     1999     2000     2001     2002     2003 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               CHANGES IN REVENUES                                              
                                                                                                                
Estimated Revenues........................................        0        6        6        6        6        6
                                                                                                                
                                           CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING                                           
                                                                                                                
Estimated Budget Authority................................        0        6        6        6        6        6
Estimated Outlays.........................................        0        6        6        6        6        6
                                                                                                                
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION                                  
                                                                                                                
Estimated Authorization Level.............................        2        0        0        0        0        0
Estimated Outlays.........................................        2        0        0        0        0        0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Enacting H.R. 755 would affect both revenues and direct 
spending. Also, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts 
for fiscal year 1998, the Treasury Department would incur 
small, one-time discretionary costs to implement the bill's 
requirements. These would include expenses to alter tax forms 
and to establish new accounting procedures. We expect such 
spending to be less than $2 million.

Revenues

    Based on information provided by states that have existing 
check-off programs, CBO estimates that federal taxpayers would 
contribute about $6 million annually to the new national parks 
trust fund beginning in fiscal year 1999. We expect that 
between 1 percent and 2 percent of taxpayers would contribute 
to the new fund, and that most contributions would be $5 or 
less. In each of the following years, annual revenues from 
contributions would be offset by small losses of individual 
income tax revenues because taxpayers who itemize their 
deductions would be able to treat check-off donations as 
charitable contributions on their next tax returns. Because 
only about 28 percent of taxpayers itemize deductions, we 
estimate that this revenue loss would be less than $0.5 million 
annually.
    The estimates of contributions and resulting spending 
authority are highly uncertain because they are based on 
assumptions regarding taxpayers' behavior, which is difficult 
to predict and may change over time. If the contributions 
realized from enacting this legislation exceed or fall short of 
CBO estimates by small amounts, the net effect on the federal 
budget would still be negligible because the changes would be 
largely offsetting. If, however, actual revenues are much 
higher than we estimate, the effect on net federal spending 
could be significantly higher.

Direct spending

    H.R. 755 would direct the Treasury to deposit the entire 
amount of revenue earned from the new check-off program into 
the national parks trust fund. Annual budget authority from the 
trust fund would be equal to the year's total check-off 
contributions plus the amount of any interest earned on the 
fund's investments. Assuming that a portion of trust fund 
balances would be invested for at least some of each year, CBO 
estimates that new spending authority for each year would be 
$6.1 million--a little over the $6 million received as 
contributions. Outlays from new spending authority would be 
slightly less than $6 million in the first few years of the 
program and slightly more than that after 2002.
    CBO expects that beginning in 1999 the Treasury Department 
would transfer most of the amounts in the trust fund to the 
NPS, which would use the money to augment appropriated funding 
for high-priority maintenance and repair activities. (Annual 
appropriations to the agency's construction account vary widely 
from year to year. To date, $215 million has been appropriated 
for fiscal year 1998.) We expect that the Treasury would retain 
a portion of annual collections to cover ongoing administrative 
expenses. These included the costs of processing amounts 
designated or received as taxpayer contributions, of investing 
fund balances, and of accounting for transactions of the trust 
fund.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: Section 252 of the Balanced 
Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 sets up pay-
as-you-go procedures for legislation affecting direct spending 
or receipts. The net changes in outlays and governmental 
receipts that are subject to pay-as-you-go procedures are shown 
in the following table. For the purposes of enforcing pay-as-
you-go procedures, only the effects in the current year, the 
budget year, and the succeeding four years are counted.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      By fiscal years, in millions of dollars--                 
                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      1998   1999   2000   2001   2002   2003   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Changes in outlays.................      0      6      6      6      6      6      6      6      6      6      6
Changes in receipts................      0      6      6      6      6      6      6      6      6      6      6
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 755 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Deborah Reis and 
Federal Revenues: Richard Kasten.
    Estimate approved by: Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    H.R. 755 contains no unfunded mandates.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle F--Procedure and Administration

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 61--INFORMATION AND RETURNS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                   Subchapter A--Returns and Records

Part I. Records, Statements, and Special Returns
     * * * * * * *
Part IX. Designation of Overpayments and Contributions for the Benefit 
          of Units of the National Park System.
     * * * * * * *

PART IX--DESIGNATION OF OVERPAYMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE BENEFIT 
                  OF UNITS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM

Sec. 6097. Designation.

SEC. 6097. DESIGNATION.

    (a) In General.--In the case of an individual, with respect 
to each taxpayer's return for the taxable year of the tax 
imposed by chapter 1, such taxpayer may designate that--
          (1) a specified portion (but not less than $1) of any 
        overpayment of tax for such taxable year, and
          (2) any cash contribution which the taxpayer includes 
        with such return,
shall be used for the benefit of units of the National Park 
System.
    (b) Manner and Time of Designation.--A designation under 
subsection (a) may be made with respect to any taxable year 
only at the time of filing the return of the tax imposed by 
chapter 1 for such taxable year. Such designation shall be made 
in such manner as the Secretary prescribes by regulations 
except that such designation shall be made either on the first 
page of the return or on the page bearing the taxpayer's 
signature.
    (c) Overpayments Treated as Refunded.--For purposes of this 
title, any portion of an overpayment of tax designated 
undersubsection (a) shall be treated as being refunded to the taxpayer 
as of the last date prescribed for filing the return of tax imposed by 
chapter 1 (determined without regard to extensions) or, if later, the 
date of return is filed.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle H--Financing of Presidential Election Campaigns

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                      CHAPTER 98--TRUST FUND CODE

               Subchapter A--Establishment of Trust Funds

Sec. 9501. Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

Sec. 9512. National Parks Trust Fund.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 9512. NATIONAL PARKS TRUST FUND.

    (a) Creation of Trust Fund.--There is established in the 
Treasury of the United States a trust fund to be known as the 
``National Parks Trust Fund'', consisting of such amounts as 
may be appropriated or credited to the National Parks Trust 
Fund as provided in this section or section 9602(b).
    (b) Transfer to National Parks Trust Fund of Amounts 
Designated.--There is hereby appropriated to the National Parks 
Trust Fund amounts equivalent to the amounts designated under 
section 6097 and received in the Treasury.
    (c) Expenditures From Trust Fund.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall pay, not less 
        often than quarterly, to the Director of the National 
        Park Service from the National Parks Trust Fund an 
        amount equal to the amount in such Fund as of the time 
        of such payment less any administrative expenses of the 
        Secretary which may be paid under paragraph (2). 
        Amounts paid under this subsection shall be used only 
        for design, construction, rehabilitation, and repair of 
        high priority facilities that directly enhance the 
        experience of park visitors, including natural, 
        cultural, and historical resource protection projects, 
        within the units of the National Park System and may 
        not be used for land acquisition.
          (2) Administrative expenses.--Amounts in the National 
        Parks Trust Fund shall be available to pay the 
        administrative expenses of the Department of the 
        Treasury directly allocable to--
                  (A) modifying the individual income tax 
                return forms to carry out section 6097,
                  (B) carrying out this chapter with respect to 
                such Fund, and
                  (C) processing amounts received under section 
                6097 and transferring such amounts to such 
                Fund.
    (d) Study.--No later than 2 years following the date of 
enactment of this section, the Secretary of the Interior shall 
transmit to the Congress a study of the effects of the program 
established under the National Parks Trust Fund. The study 
shall include information on the amount of money paid into the 
Fund, the projects that were undertaken with funds from the 
Trust Fund, and any other information that the Secretary of the 
Interior deems useful in evaluating the program's 
effectiveness.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *