Fishing License Increase - Govt Logic? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 3Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
cspot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Western PA-2A
Posts: 11,789
Back To Top
Fishing License Increase - Govt Logic?

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commissioners are trying to meet anglers and state lawmakers halfway.

Or, well, at least 30 percent of the way.

Commission executive director Tim Schaeffer recently delivered his agency’s annual report to members of the House of Representatives game and fisheries committee. Much of his commentary – not at all surprisingly — focused on increasing the price of fishing licenses.

Those haven’t changed since 2005.

Since then, Schaeffer said, commission expenditures related to supporting fishing and boating grew by an additional $11 million annually.

“Where our revenues have remained stagnant, costs have continued to rise,” Schaeffer said. “Inflation, increased personnel costs and aging infrastructure have all placed considerable pressure on the commission’s long-term financial picture in the absence of new or increased revenue.”

A resident adult fishing license costs $22.90. Adjusted for inflation, the commission said that should have been $37.18 by 2017

Only lawmakers can increase license fees, though. And they’ve been unwilling to do so.

Most of the opposition centers around the commission’s emergency, or reserve, fund.

The commission’s annual budget usually hovers between $50 million to $55 million. In recent years, it kept almost exactly that much – enough to fund the agency for one year – in uncommitted reserve funds.

Lawmakers have been unwilling to ask anglers to pay more when the commission has that much money bankrolled.

The commission heard that and is making a change, Schaeffer said.

Commission staff spent the last few months evaluating its “risk factors,” Schaeffer said. That includes things like the loss of a major revenue source, an outage in the automated license sales system in the week or two around trout season, when sales peak, or an unforeseen infrastructure emergency, like a dam or hatchery failure.

“Based on cash flow needs and agency risk factors, it was determined that the commission should strive to maintain its unrestricted reserves at a level equal to 70 percent of prior year revenues,” Schaeffer said.

So starting this year it’s going to keep 70 percent of its annual budget – not 100 percent – in reserve. It will spend all money over and above that right away.

Already it’s recruiting a new class of waterways conservation officers, with the goal of restoring its law enforcement staff to full staff. Schaeffer said it’s also going to use reserve cash to replace hatchery trucks with more than 250,000 miles on them; replace law enforcement boats more than 30 years old; update oxygen alarms at hatcheries to save fish; repair unsafe boat ramps; and rehire seasonal biologists to help survey rivers and lakes.

None of that – nor “aggressive steps” to cut costs already taken – forestall the need for a license fee increase, though, Schaeffer said. The commission maintains it still needs more money if it’s going to continue delivering the goods and services anglers expect.

Increasing costs beyond its control are one reason, Schaeffer said. He pointed to fish food and gas prices as examples.

“We’d simply like to be able to keep up with them,” he said.

Lawmakers seem willing to help.

The state Senate actually passed a bill last year that would allow the commission to set its own prices for three years. After that time, authority would revert to lawmakers.

The bill died in the House of Representatives, however.

Now, an identical bill is expected to come out of the House. Rep. Thomas Mehaffie, a Dauphin County Republican, is going to be its prime sponsor.

If that is adopted, Schaeffer said the commission’s plans to increase resident adult license fees by $5 in year one, $2 in year two and $2 in year three. Other licenses – for non-residents, for example – would see increases, too.

“And we think that would sustain us for at least 10 years,” Schaeffer said.

He believes anglers would find such incremental increases more palatable than the larger ones traditionally implemented every 10 to 15 years. That’s also believed to be a reflection of what the market might bear price-wise.

The commission gets no general tax revenue, Schaeffer noted. It makes money only when people pay to fish and boat. So it has no intention of pricing itself out of business.

“In short, the future of our agency depends on our goods being competitively and appropriately priced, much like the private sector. The last thing we can afford as an agency is to drive away our constituents,” Schaeffer said.

Committee members – relatively few of whom fish or boat — had a few questions. But unlike in the past, none expressed opposition to increases.

That doesn’t guarantee any bill that gets out of committee will pass the House. Twelve of the 25 committee members are in either their first or second terms, so few rank high among legislative leadership.

But Mehaffie seemed optimistic, saying it’s time to raise fees in support of fishing and boating.

“Let’s get this thing done and over the finish line,” he said.

https://triblive.com/sports/pennsylv....tPRxIPrQ.gbpl

Traditions only last if you pass them down to your kids!
cspot is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 12:56 PM
Senior Member
 
Danesdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Westmoreland county PA
Posts: 19,689
Back To Top
I think having John Arway as executive director was a hindrance to getting the license increase because he didn't get along well with some state representatives. Now that he is out, I think an increase is more likely.


On a side note, I just bought my ten year license, so the commission should be flush with cash!

Hunting: 10% skill and 90% location.
Danesdad is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 01:10 PM
Administrator
 
casey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: milford pa-pike county
Posts: 13,448
Back To Top
HCO1439 By Moul. Increases certain Fish and Boat license fees.

* March 7, 2019 10:04 AM

* Rep. Dan Moul

* Fee Increase for Fishing Licenses

*

* In the near future, I plan on introducing legislation to help the

* Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) continue to deliver the

* services expected by the Commonwealth's anglers by increasing fees for

* certain licenses and permits for the first time since 2005. The

* proposed increases will be phased in over a multi-year period to lessen

* the fiscal impact on anglers.

* Specifically, my legislation would increase the cost of a resident

* annual fishing license from $21 to $30 over a three-year period,

* increasing to $26 in the first year, $28 in the second year, $30 in the

* third year and thereafter. Trout/Salmon permits would increase from $8

* to $11 in the first year, $13 in the second year, and $15 in the third

* year and thereafter. Other licenses, both resident and non-resident,

* would be increased in similar fashion.

*

* In 2018, the PFBC sold nearly 800,000 fishing licenses and 550,000

* fishing permits. Accordingly, fishing has a tremendous positive impact

* on Pennsylvania's economy. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife

* Service's 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and

* Wildlife-Associated Recreation, recreational fishing generates an

* estimated annual economic benefit of $46.1 billion. The 2011 National

* Survey of Fishing, Hunting, & Wildlife-Associated Recreation report

* estimates that Pennsylvania generates more than $721 million in retail

* sales and wages, supports over 5,602 fishing jobs, and contributes more

* than $37.2 million in state and local tax revenues.

*

* Consistent with the long-established user pays/user benefits model

* of funding fish and wildlife conservation, fees from fishing licenses

* and associated permits comprise the largest portion of revenue-nearly

* 70 percent-for the PFBC. While the Commission is also actively trying

* to diversify its funding base, the core revenue stream of license and

* permit sales are fundamental to the agency's ability to fulfill its

* mission. A modest fee increase would help alleviate the Commission's

* fiscal challenges and allow the agency to continue providing anglers

* and boaters with exceptional programs and services for the foreseeable

* future.

*

* In addition, my legislation will make a technical change by removing

* the word "salmon" from the name of the trout/salmon permit, since the

* PFBC no longer produces salmon.
casey is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 01:12 PM
The Man
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 6,120
Back To Top
The license prices should keep up with the inflation.

It's been many years since a fishing license increase, so that has not been happening.
troutbert is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
cspot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Western PA-2A
Posts: 11,789
Back To Top
Quote:
Originally Posted by troutbert View Post
The license prices should keep up with the inflation.

It's been many years since a fishing license increase, so that has not been happening.
Yes they should. It is just funny that the legislators want them to spend more of their reserves to give them an increase. As long as the reserve is remaining constant and isn't overly large then I don't see the issue. If the reserve remains constant then they are simply spending what they are receiving every year which is being financially responsible.

Not sure how the agencies reserves are setup but I would think they could have the reserve setup to collect interest off of it?

Traditions only last if you pass them down to your kids!
cspot is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 01:19 PM
Senior Member
 
Danesdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Westmoreland county PA
Posts: 19,689
Back To Top
Yes. I have a tough time believing an agency that claims poverty, when their reserve account doesn't go down. They would come off as more plausible if the reserve balance was being chiseled away each year.

Hunting: 10% skill and 90% location.
Danesdad is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
cspot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Western PA-2A
Posts: 11,789
Back To Top
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danesdad View Post
Yes. I have a tough time believing an agency that claims poverty, when their reserve account doesn't go down. They would come off as more plausible if the reserve balance was being chiseled away each year.
The issue is they have been cutting back on services in order to keep the reserve about the same. You shouldn't have to go broke in order to get a license increase.

Basically the legislature is saying spend more to go broke and then we will give you an increase. I fail to see the logic in that.

Traditions only last if you pass them down to your kids!
cspot is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 01:40 PM
Diehard Outdoorsman
 
blackpowder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: blooming valley pa. in nw pa 1B
Posts: 2,903
Back To Top
raise the fishing and hunting both, it is still a bargain no matter what the cost is!
blackpowder is online now  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 01:41 PM
Sage
 
Woods walker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 25,306
Back To Top
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danesdad View Post
I think having John Arway as executive director was a hindrance to getting the license increase because he didn't get along well with some state representatives. Now that he is out, I think an increase is more likely.


On a side note, I just bought my ten year license, so the commission should be flush with cash!
It was not so much as he didnlt get along with the general assembly as it was he didn't acquiesce to them. He did a good job for the Fish and Boat Commission and it is too bad our tiny minded egotistical politicians forced him out. He did what was best for the agency by retiring, he was more of a man than any of those trying to push him out
DennyF likes this.

When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
Woods walker is online now  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 03:48 PM
Hooked on HuntingPa
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 454
Back To Top
The logic of the Moron politicians is sickening. Here we have an agency that is FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE enough to spend within their budget. Since the wankers in Harrisburg are not capable of performing their job, they want everyone else to look as dumb as them.



Raise the fee to $40.Big DEAL, That's the price a of a Fly line or a nice fish dinner !
loridr and blackpowder like this.
JakeS1922 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome