|Posted:||March 7, 2019 10:04 AM|
|From:||Representative Dan Moul|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||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.
Introduced as HB929