Commission Approves New License & Tag Fees

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The Arizona Game and Fish Commission approved new fees to be charged for fishing and hunting licenses, stamps and hunt permit-tags at its December meeting in Casa Grande.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department sought the increases through the state Legislature and public rules review process in order to help meet increasing operating expenses and to address program priorities. The new fees will affect licenses, tags and stamps that will be used in 2007.

The commission made some modifications the department’s original fee proposal, including the elimination of class A or “premium” deer and elk tags and a change to the cost of a nonresident bighorn sheep tag from $2,000 to $1,400. The commission also directed the department to keep youth licenses near current prices and created new youth hunt permit-tag fees for elk at $50, deer at $25, javelina at $15 and turkey at $10. Youth tags will be offered to resident and nonresident youths who apply for hunts dedicated to youths (not for hunts that adults may also apply for).

Examples of the new pricing structure are: a general resident fishing license currently is $18 and will go to $23.50; a resident elk tag currently is $78 and will go to $114; a resident deer tag currently is $19.50 and will go to $34.75; a resident hunting license currently is $44 and will go to $54; and a youth combination hunt and fish license is currently $25.50 and will go to $26.

During the last legislative session, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill raising the fee ceilings under which the commission is authorized to establish license, tag, stamp, and permit prices. This was the first time the ceiling had been raised since 1998. The price increases are within the new ceilings.

On another issue, the commission voted to postpone until 2008 a ballot initiative seeking a dedicated alternative funding source for the department.