SENATOR NOZZOLIO: HUGE FEE HIKES TARGET SPORTSMEN
Cost of Hunting and Fishing Licenses Increase 25 to 62% On October 1
$22 Million Hit To Upstate Economy
The 2009-10 State Budget continues to spell disaster for Upstate New York’s economy, as yet another round of tax hikes go into effect at the beginning of next month, State Senator Mike Nozzolio announced today. Starting October 1st, the cost of resident and non-resident sportsmen licenses and all lifetime hunting and fishing licenses will increase between 25 percent and 63 percent. These new fees were adopted as a part of last April’s state budget that raised taxes and fees on the average family by more than $2,400 a year.
“When Governor Paterson and the Senate majority approved $8.5 billion in tax and fee increases in the state budget, they placed a target on the backs of every hunter and fisherman in Upstate New York by forcing them to pay significantly higher fees for almost every type of sporting license,” Senator Nozzolio said. “Every month New Yorkers are getting hit with more taxes and fees as a result of the disastrous budget that was pushed through without public discussion or disclosure by Governor Paterson.”
Senator Nozzolio voted against the budget, which was enacted by only one vote. The latest fee hikes will push the cost of fishing and small and big game licenses from $19 to $29, a 53 percent increase. The license fee increases are projected to cost Upstate taxpayers an additional $22 million, money that could have gone back into rebuilding the Upstate economy.
“Apart from being a valued pastime for generations of New Yorkers, hunting is vital to our region’s economy and tourism industry,” Senator Nozzolio said. “It is clear, however, that the big government spenders from New York City who approved these increases do not understand or care about how they will affect Upstate taxpayers.”
In addition, muzzle-loading licenses will go up 31 percent; the cost of turkey permits will double; small game licenses will go up 63 percent; and trapping licenses will increase 31 percent. Every type of lifetime license will increase between 27 percent for children’s and adult licenses; 30 percent for a senior’s lifetime license and 53 percent for a small and big game lifetime license. There will also be a new license requirement for recreational marine fishing.
While the increased license fees are scheduled to take effect when the new hunting season begins on October 1, 2009, the State actually began charging more for the new season licenses on August 17th.
“The number of people who hunt in New York has decreased over the last few years and now the New York City-driven policies that are dominating our New York State government will force fewer sportsmen to pay even more. All to help fund a massive spending increase that has already created a budget deficit of more than $2 billion,” Senator Nozzolio said.
The hunting and fishing fee hikes come on the heels of the budget’s massive 25 percent increase in motor vehicle registration and drivers license fees that took effect September 1st.
“On September 1st, it was increased license and registration fees for every driver of every kind of vehicle. Starting in October, it’s higher license fees for sportsmen,” Senator Nozzolio said. “Tax hikes on virtually every license issued by New York State- there is simply no end to the New York City appetite for spending and tax hikes.”