Game Fund Revenues and Expenditures
Included in the current fiscal year financial statement report were revenues and expenditures from escrow accounts. These revenues and expenses were associated with acquired land transactions that were not included in prior financial statement reports. The escrow accounts increased revenue by $51,167,197 and expenses by $45,545,674.
Total revenues were $189,929,571, an increase of $72,781,963 (62.1%) over the prior year’s revenues. Most of the increase can be attributed to the revenues related to prior period escrow transactions as explained above. Revenue from adult resident
hunting licenses fell $454,494. Adult nonresident hunting licenses also saw a slight decrease — $8,593. Sales from the Federal Duck Stamp were $623,492 a slight decrease (3.23%) from last year’s $644,296.
Total expenditures were $174,039,950. An increase of $73,617,367 (73.3%) over the prior year’s expenditures. Most of the increase can be attributed to the expenses related to prior period escrow transactions as previously explained. Payments to other state agencies for specialized services were $9,660,732, an increase of $7,474,614 over the prior year and include commitments to the Department of General Services for future construction of the Pymatuning Wildlife Education Center and an addition to the Headquarters building.
The Game Fund’s Restricted Fund Balance was $88,666,123. An increase of $15,889,621 (21.8%) from last year is attributable to revenues exceeding expenditures during the period by the same $15,889,621.
The Game Code stipulates that a minimum of $4.25 from each resident and nonresident license, and a minimum of $2.00 from each antlerless deer license issued for which the full fee has been paid, is to be used for habitat improvement, development, maintenance, protection, and restoration. The Game Commission reported that during fiscal year 2018-19, the number of resident and nonresident licenses sold totaled 1,428,744, and the number of antlerless deer licenses sold totaled 818,531. This mandated that a minimum of $7,709,224 be expended and appropriated into a separate restricted account for the above-mentioned habitat improvement provision. Actually, $11,001,279 was expended and $7,500,000 was appropriated to the restricted account. The $209,224 deficit will be added to the appropriations request for the 2019-20 fiscal year.
Third Party Obligations of which the Game Commission is a Beneficiary
The Game Commission is the beneficiary of several third-party obligations to mitigate damages or otherwise provide funds for projects or research. In the majority of these instances, the obligation is for land. The obligation listed below as “White Nose” was an account set up by and between the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Consol Coal Company to provide funds for research into White Nose Syndrome. All funds remain under the control of US Fish and Wildlife Service. The obligation listed as “Duck Marsh” was to complete a specific project on Duck Marsh, State Game Lands 25, which was completed and the draw down of the funds took place in fiscal year 2018. Finally, three obligations, PSU, IBAT and White Nose, are specifically subject to USFWS control and approval. P&N and FNB obligations reported last year are now reported in the Game Fund balance sheet.