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A Taxing Problem

May 15, 2017 - Larry Claypool
Follow the bouncing ball.

I guess the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has landed on a decision it’s going to live with — for now. The topic of whether to raise hunting and fishing license fees in Ohio has ruffled some feathers the past few months. I’m hearing politics came into play, and that’s unfortunate.

Apparently someone took a hard line to say no tax increases would be made in Ohio, and that apparently included ODNR and its divisions. That would include the Division of Wildlife, which handles hunting, fishing and trapping license fees, among many other things. It’s no secret the DOW has less funds to work with as hunting and fishing license sales have steadily dropped the past 25 years. Less participation — less income for the state.

With this substantial loss of revenue something had to give. So some programs have been cut and staffing changes have been made.

I feel the Sportmen’s Alliance’s proposal (which was backed up by several of the top hunting and conservation groups in Ohio) is spot on. They’re calling for a minimal $3 increase in resident hunting and fishing licenses and larger fees for non-resident tags. The state’s proposal is to make increases only in the non-resident licenses side.

And since the state proclaimed their ‘non-resident’ attack on the problem, several former (and most recent) ODNR Wildlife Chiefs have joined the sportmen group’s efforts by reaching out to Ohio Governor John Kasich. We’ll see if that effort gets anywhere with the Governor.

Editor's Note: This column ran in the May issue of Ohio Valley Outdoors Times. Also read my article on the topic, on this website under 'Hot Topics", titled 'ODNR Caught Wrangling with Fee Increases'.


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