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Tag, license fee hike would let residents ‘lock in’ price

Idaho Fish and Game will ask Idaho lawmakers this legislative session to consider a proposal to increase resident Idaho license and tag fees, but the request has a twist.

The proposal, if approved would be followed by a Fish and Game Commission order allowing license buyers to exempt themselves from the increase, as long as they buy an annual license starting this year.

The Fish and Game Price Lock proposal is unique to Idaho. The goal is to create an incentive for hunters, anglers and trappers to buy annual licenses, whether they use them or not.

“We know that most Idahoans consider themselves to be hunters and anglers, but many don’t purchase a license and get out in the field every year,” Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore said. “If just 10 percent of intermittent license buyers started purchasing every year, license revenue would increase $1 million annually and we could improve hunting and fishing opportunities in Idaho and keep prices low.”

It’s been a decade since the last resident fee hike in Idaho. Since then, Fish and Game’s operational costs have increased 22 percent due to inflation. As a result, the agency is raising and stocking fewer fish and conducting fewer game population surveys.

Fish and Game is proposing to raise the price of resident licenses, tags and permits between $1 to $6 starting in 2016. If approved by the legislature and signed into law by the governor, Idaho residents would be able to “lock in” at current prices for all licenses, tags and permits simply by purchasing an annual license in 2015, and each year thereafter.

“As long as you buy an annual license, you’ll continue to pay the current fees, not the increase fees we are proposing,” Moore said. “This approach hasn’t been tried anywhere else, but we think it will work. Many of our elected leaders are intrigued and we hope they decide to let us give it a try.”

More information about the Fish and Game Price Lock is posted on the Fish and Game website: http://fishandgame.


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