Idaho Fish and Game plans to propose a two-tiered pricing structure that would keep prices the same for current hunters and anglers but increase prices for newcomers and infrequent purchasers.
Prices for resident licenses, tags and permits would increase by $1 to $6 in 2018 under the plan.
Anyone with a license, tag or permit in 2017 would be eligible for a “price lock” as long as they continue to make those purchases on an annual basis, for a minimum price lock of three years. Anyone purchasing licenses, tags or permits in 2018 without having made a purchase in 2017 would pay the higher prices.
Any price changes have to be approved by the Legislature, which has been feuding with Fish and Game over auction tags. Resident prices haven’t increased since 2005.
“We believe the Fish and Game Price Lock will encourage enough of the intermittent hunters and anglers to buy a license every year,” Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore wrote on the department’s website, “and will generate the revenue needed to keep up with inflation and help us provide quality hunting and fishing in Idaho every year, whether they use their license or not.”
More than 60 percent of hunters and anglers don’t renew their licenses each year, Fish and Game says. The hope is that the Price Lock program would entice more to renew annually and generate more revenue.
Fish and Game has reduced its production of catchable rainbow trout by 18 percent and conducted fewer fish and game surveys because its costs have been rising, Moore said. Fish and Game doesn’t receive general tax revenue.
The proposal also calls for a $2.25 increase in the cost of a non-resident daily fishing permit, which is the most popular non-resident item sold (FAQs here).
Some proposed fee increases: hunting license by $3to $15.75, fishing license by $4.75 to $30.50, deer tag by $5 to $24.75 and elk tag by $6 to $36.75. Here’s the complete list.