Democrats Target Sportsmen With Higher Fees - $22 Million Hit To Upstate Economy

Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today spoke out about increased fees for hunting and fishing licenses.

"As sportsmen prepare for the upcoming hunting and fishing seasons, many are beginning to realize that almost every sporting license has increased significantly since last year," said Senator Larkin. "The license fee increases were included in this year's disastrous state budget, put together in secret by Governor Paterson and the Legislature's Democratic majorities."

"Earlier this year, I voted against the budget and staunchly opposed these appalling fee increases. I'm voicing my opposition again because these fees are nothing more than an assault on sportsmen and their wallets, but I guess that is to be expected when three Democrats from New York City negotiate a budget in secret," added Senator Larkin.

As a result of the state budget, fishing and small and big game licenses increased from $19 to $29, a 53% hike; muzzleloading, bowhunting and trapping licenses increased from $16 to $21, a 31% hike; turkey permits are now $10, up from $5; every type of lifetime license will increase between 27% and 50%, and there is also a new license for recreational marine fishing.

Larkin pointed out that while most of the new fee increases for 2009-2010 licenses are already in effect, lifetime license increases will not go into effect until October 1st. "This may be a very good time to consider getting a lifetime license," said Larkin.

The license fee increases are projected to take $22 million out of the pockets of sportsmen.

"Instead of putting the revenue from these fee hikes toward outdoor recreational activities, the money is going to the state's general fund," said Senator Larkin.

"Simply put, these fee increases are going to result in fewer people hunting, fewer people fishing and therefore less money going to the Upstate economy. If the Democrats who approved these fee hikes do care about sportsmen and Upstate New York, they certainly have a funny way of showing it."

Released on:  September 17, 2009