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Pennsylvania Looking to Raise Hunting and Fishing Fees

Officials argue over decision to increase Pennsylvania license costs.

It’s been over 17 years since the state approved a hunting license price increase while fishing fees rose in 2005. Still, agencies disagree on whether or not now is the time to increase both.

United Sportsmen of Pennsylvania VP Stephen Mohr says, “Right now, the Fish Commission is in need of a license increase, The Game Commission, at this point, I would say positively no license increase.”

Others disagree, “To me, 17 years without any kind of a license increase is ridiculous, but that’s my opinion,” said Denny Fillmore, who is the president of the Mechanicsburg Sportsmen’s Protective Association.

Part of the debate also revolves around the way the decision to raise license fees is determined. State legislators currently make that decision but the Game Commision wants to have that ability instead.

“If we give you basically the opportunity to an open-ended revenue stream that you control, how do we feel comfortable that you’re not going to spend in an unlimited capacity?” asked Rep. Joe Emrick.

“When fees aren’t adjusted to account for rising inflationary expenses, it’s like kicking the can down the road, and you end up with an increase that comes all at once, nobody wants that.” Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough said.

It seems the issue has become more of a constitutional conversation with some legislators concerned over the idea of uncontrolled spending.

Senate Bill 1166 would give the Game Commission the ability to set their own fees in order to keep up with inflation. An issue which has put the agency in “financial crisis.”

Today, a PA fishing license costs $22.50 and a hunting license costs $20.50. The bill still needs to pass the Senate and the House before it can be signed by the governor.

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Pennsylvania Looking to Raise Hunting and Fishing Fees