Outdoor Recreation Idea of the Day, January 13, 2011

Apply Voluntary Agriculture Marketing Orders Concept to Recreation

January 13, 2011 (Washington, DC) - For decades, producers of various crops have had the option to adopt a voluntary tax on their products and to essentially donate those funds for research, marketing and certain other purposes designed to increase the value of their crop to the public. The concept is called an agricultural marketing order, and the programs are monitored to guard against any anti-trust violations (they're not allowed to artificially raise or control prices). Industries which use this authority include milk ("Got Milk?), eggs and various nut and citrus fruit growers.

If a super-majority of the producers vote to impose the tax, it is then applied to all producers. The affected businesses elect a board that sets and spends the collected funds.

So what if a similar option was given to all mountain bike manufacturers, or to all of the producers of hand-held GPS units, or to all kayak manufacturers? There is already a federal excise tax certain recreation equipment, like on fishing gear earmarked for recreational fisheries programs and archery equipment, guns and ammunition for wildlife and ranges. These aren't marketing orders, but they serve the same purpose. These use true trust funds created in the 1930's and 1950's.

Outdoor Recreation Idea of the Day is inspired by the President's America's Great Outdoors Initiative to connect Americans to the outdoors and its IdeaJam blog. ARC’s submissions to the blog can be found if you click here. Additional ideas that have been submitted to IdeaJam can be found in our September 2010 newsletter, which is here.