The Idaho Department of Fish & Game’s proposal to raise fees for most resident licenses and tags between $1 and $6 is included in Gov. Butch Otter’s proposed budget, writes Idaho Statesman reporter Rocky Barker, but Otter has stopped short of supporting it, saying it’s up to Fish & Game commissioners to win the needed approval from lawmakers. Last year, the department pulled a similar proposal after a dispute with some leading lawmakers over auction tags. The proposal includes a “price lock” concept the department has been discussing for the past several years, to allow those who buy licenses every year, from 2017 on, to be exempt from the fee hikes. Barker’s full report is online here.
He reports that the Department of Fish & Game has seen its costs increase more than 22 percent since the last resident fee increase, which was more than 12 years ago. Fish & Game receives no state general tax funds. The department has an explainer online here about its “price lock” proposal, which is intended in part to stabilize the department's finances by encouraging more Idahoans to purchase licenses every year, rather than in some years and not others.