Commission to raise license, permit fees

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission has expressed its intention to raise permit and license fees across the board for the 2023 licensing year.

The Commission took the first steps to raise fees during a meeting held on Friday.

Residents would see the cost of a fishing license go up $2.50 while the trout stamp would also raise $2.50.

Executive Director Tim Schaeffer explained that the General Assembly in 2020 gave the commission the latitude to increase fees, a power previously reserved by the legislature.

Fishing license fees have been flat since 2005 while some of the boating fees have not been increased since the 1980s and 1990s.

Schaeffer said the commission is funded primarily by license and registration fees. “The goal is to simply raise the fees enough to keep up with the cost of doing business,” he said.

Deputy Executive Director Brian Barner told the commission that revenues have “remained relatively flat” since the last increase in 2005 but expenditures have increased by 21% over that same period.

“Given our current financial situation and outlook, we are in good sustainable shape through 2023,” he said. “If we don’t take action now, we won’t be able to sustain our current level of operations beyond that.”

According to a statement from the commission, the fishing license increases, including the licenses for non-residents, seniors and tourists, will generate $2.5 million while boating increases would generate about $1.5 million.

“These modest fee adjustments would ensure that important infrastructure, services, and programs for anglers and boaters can continue and improve into the future while keeping prices reasonable,” Richard Kauffman, Commission president, said. “While the price of a fishing license has remained the same for the past 17 years, operational expenses have continued to go up and it is time to bring our fees in line with our business needs.”


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