License Increase Proposal
The agency is funded by hunting license sales and federal taxes on ammunition and firearms, not by state tax dollars. Hunting licenses support all wildlife, not just game. The Game Commission hasn’t had a license increase since 1999 when a general hunting license went from $12 to $19. Marcellus Shale money helped bridge the gap in our funding until now; those funds are now dwindling. As sportsmen and women, we know that hunting and trapping are not only vital to the state’s economy, but of utmost importance to everyone concerned with the future of wildlife management in Pennsylvania.
How will a license increase make a difference?
The agency is facing overwhelming financial challenges, many of which are beyond its control and are certain to continue into the future. Hunting license fees account for almost 40 percent of the Game Commission’s revenue. The fee for hunting and trapping licenses has not increased in 16 years: the second-longest period the Game Commission ever has gone without an increase. The longest span was from the Great Depression through World War II. The agency has been operating at a deficit since fiscal year 2013-14 and projects a deficit of $12 million in the current fiscal year primarily due to large increases in personnel expenses.