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Thread: Residents paying for tags???

  1. #1

    Default Residents paying for tags???

    Let me start by saying that I am on the side of the Alaska resident here! I am against our sport turning into a rich man's game. I keep reading posts about resident tags and access being taken away. I think that most would agree that this is strictly due to monetary gain for someone or group. I think we can all agree that this will never change.......unless there is a way to give residents their "seniority" back while making up for lost $$. I do like the current model of residents only having to pay for a hunting license and get harvest tickets and locking tags for free....but what if there was a fee for them? Could the revenue make up for limiting non-resident tags and subsequent revenue? Maybe? It might be time for residents to be proactive instead of pissing and moaning about something that will not get any better without a creative way to supplement the revenue lost from limiting non-resident opportunity. I feel that residents should be taken care of before giving opportunities to outsiders but I get the sneaking suspicion that our lawmakers don't feel the same way! I know times are tough and change is hard. It is tough to live in Alaska (I lived in Dillingham for three years) and the free tags feel like kind of a reward system for enduring it...but it might just be time for change. I know cost of living is high but it is everywhere. I want to see the residents of your great state get their rights back and be the priority again. More than anything I want to get everyone thinking, and talking, and brainstorming, and maybe something good will come of it. I've done my share of complaining and it has never gotten me anywhere. Be pro-active, go get your hunting back, it's the best in the world!

  2. #2
    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    I would be on board for a fee for OTC tags. I bet it probably wouldn't be popular, but it wouldn't have to be a large fee. Last season there were 28896 OTC Black Bear tags handed out (GL000). At $5 each, that's $144,480, that's a few more survery flights, or studies I would bet. I'm nowhere near being into the political side of this as many on here, and no, I don't have a hard time coming up with $5 usually so I can't speak nor will I try to speak for everyone. But imagine what $5 would do for every OTC tag???? What sheep hunter here is going to pass on a season over a $5 tag..... I doubt many as most of us spend that much on a can of fuel for the Jetboil right??? With 5339 GS sheep hunters, that's almost $27000 in revenue as well.

    I'm not perfect at crunching these nubers either so please be gentle...

  3. #3

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    Now you got the right idea. So on another thread they were talking about that last year something like 6% of draw sheep tags went to non-residents and they were going to make it guaranteed 10% instead of up to 10%. I don't know how many resident tags that takes away but it would take 63 non-res sheep tags to get the 27000 figure for a $5 OTC

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    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    Abel, you're absolutely right. We've got to be willing to pony up some money for the resident general season.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


  5. #5

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    Jason, I like you proactive approach to this problem. I think us sportsmen are definitely going to have to do something otherwise opportunities are going to be taken away from us residents!
    I would easily pay a fee/charge to be able to participate in a hunt. I think some of those folks that just hunt harvest ticket areas would definitely get upset and oppose a cost to obtain them. As someone said in another discussion ďAlaskans like their free lunch.Ē However, I think you could not charge anything for harvest tickets, but have a fee for drawing permits. Everyone that applies for these permits puts at least $5 down for just the chance of obtaining a permit (and up to $30 per species depending on how many choices you put in for), so I donít think the majority would have a problem paying a permit fee if they get drawn. Musk ox and brown bear permit winners already do this (there may be some brown bear hunts where a tag isnít required). I would imagine this would create a substantial income source for the department, and give people the option to still hunt without paying for a harvest ticket (even though most huntís cost many, many times more than any reasonable tag fee!!!!)

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    People that support new fees and taxes assume that the money will be spent wisely and will never increase. Bureaucracy feeds on itself and ultimately fails the average person.

  7. #7
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank View Post
    People that support new fees and taxes assume that the money will be spent wisely and will never increase. Bureaucracy feeds on itself and ultimately fails the average person.
    Meanwhile some people assume that there is never a justification for new/increased taxes or fees, even in the face of a Department that doesn't have the funds necessary to fly population surveys and/or do the most basic of research that directly benefits us consumptive users.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abel View Post
    I would be on board for a fee for OTC tags. I bet it probably wouldn't be popular, but it wouldn't have to be a large fee. Last season there were 28896 OTC Black Bear tags handed out (GL000). At $5 each, that's $144,480, that's a few more survery flights, or studies I would bet. I'm nowhere near being into the political side of this as many on here, and no, I don't have a hard time coming up with $5 usually so I can't speak nor will I try to speak for everyone. But imagine what $5 would do for every OTC tag???? What sheep hunter here is going to pass on a season over a $5 tag..... I doubt many as most of us spend that much on a can of fuel for the Jetboil right??? With 5339 GS sheep hunters, that's almost $27000 in revenue as well.

    I'm not perfect at crunching these nubers either so please be gentle...
    Note that all of your numbers would actually be quadrupled, as Federal Pittman-Robertson fees match all state fish/game fees at a 3:1 rate. There is a pile of Federal money out there due to increased consumption of ammunition and firearms, but the state has to have the 25% match in order to receive those funds. So if we paid $5 for a harvest ticket, ADF&G would actually receive $20 total. Not a bad return on a minimal investment.

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    I clearly understand both sides of the issue. I pay more than my "fair share" in taxes and fees in this life. I simply have a more cynical view of state and federal government than some other people. If we are to have an honest debate, why not allow differing views on the subject? I should have clarified, in my first post, that my opinions are just my thoughts typed into this thread. I have no problem with another person disagreeing with me. Please, convince me that we need new fees to go hunting.

  10. #10
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    In the SE we have to pay for our brown bear locking tags.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  11. #11
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Nobody is disallowing differing views, Frank - I just responded with my own view.

    We need new fees for a couple of reasons. First of all, the Department does not have the money necessary to best manage our fish and game resources. There are populations that can likely sustain greater harvest, but the Department must manage conservatively in the absence of accurate real-time data on the populations we hunt. With more funding, they would be able to fly regular sheep, caribou, and moose surveys which have been curtailed in some cases. Second, we need more funds so that the trend towards privatization of hunting opportunity is curtailed. One need only look at HB 161 for an example of where we are heading. In the name of increased funding to the Department, we're on the verge of auctioning off more than twice as many permits as before - in the process, taking away opportunity from residents and selling it to the highest bidder. Lastly, we need more funding because a small amount of state-level contributions will be matched 3-1 by Federal Pittman-Robertson funds. We pay into the Pittman-Robertson fund every time we buy ammunition or firearms, yet we cannot reap the full benefit of this fund because we do not collect enough in license and tag fees.

    I am no fan of increased taxation in general. I am a property owner and am well acquainted with the sting of taxation and the frustration with watching my money be poorly spent by government agencies. Not all government spending is equally wasteful, though, and not all government agencies are adequately funded. ADF&G is perpetually underfunded, in my understanding, and a nominal fee would go a long ways towards addressing this.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Note that all of your numbers would actually be quadrupled, as Federal Pittman-Robertson fees match all state fish/game fees at a 3:1 rate. There is a pile of Federal money out there due to increased consumption of ammunition and firearms, but the state has to have the 25% match in order to receive those funds. So if we paid $5 for a harvest ticket, ADF&G would actually receive $20 total. Not a bad return on a minimal investment.
    It's not quite as simple as just using last year's numbers to figure what would be brought in in the future. We have to realize that there would be a lot fewer OTC tags purchased if there was a fee than there are now with now fee. For example, I have gotten OTC tags for black bear the last couple of years just in the off chance I decided to go on a hunt where I might have the opportunity to get one. I've never gone on a bear hunt and maybe never will, but since it was free, it didn't hurt to print out the tags and have them with me on my other outings. If they charged even $5, I wouldn't bother picking them up unless I specifically had a plan to hunt. I know a good number of others in the same boat. I am not saying it is necessarily a bad idea, just pointing out that the numbers aren't quite as cleanly figured as that.

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    That's very well put, Brian. I could agree to a new fee as long as the money was put directly into a separate account that was only used for that specific use. The problem, as I see it, is that they would end up spending the money on whatever else they wanted.

  14. #14

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    Frank, I'm not suggesting that residents NEED new fees to hunt. I'm saying that in order to keep quality hunting opportunities available that may be required. If you are okay with how things are and the direction they are heading, then by all means should you pay more "fees". I'm not trying to compare or say that living up there isn't expensive but when I lived there I paid $0 dollars in property tax, 25 bucks to register my vehicle for 3 years and got 2 pfd's each year (wife and I), oh and no state income tax. This year alone in Maine I paid $1000 bucks to register 2 vehicles, 4000 in property tax, and on of the highest state income tax rates in the US. And we still get nickel and dined to death for every permit you can imagine. Oh and the hunting opportunity sucks compared to AK. I actually felt like I was taking advantage of something by living there with the low taxes and pfd's and the like. All I'm saying I think a little "paying it forward" could conserve some resources for future residents/the next generation of Alaskans.

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    I realize money has got to come from somewhere, but I'm with Frank. I'd like to see where that is going to go. I've recently paid $48 for hunting/fishing license, $45 in draw permit applications and got none, $5 for a duck stamp, and a tax everytime I buy ammo. Before I pay more I'd like to think that it isn't getting wasted.

    How about more enforcement and heavier fines for violations?

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    I support tag fees for residents.

    I could support an increases in licensing fees too.

    If as a consequence less residents bought licenses and tags there would still be a net gain.

    BUT all non residents would have to go to a draw in order for me to support increases to residents.

    And...a non resident draw would raise far more funds than what their contributions are now! Ummm....we should try that first?

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    Jason.....Is it not ironic that you complain about the high taxes and poor hunting in Maine?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Note that all of your numbers would actually be quadrupled, as Federal Pittman-Robertson fees match all state fish/game fees at a 3:1 rate. There is a pile of Federal money out there due to increased consumption of ammunition and firearms, but the state has to have the 25% match in order to receive those funds. So if we paid $5 for a harvest ticket, ADF&G would actually receive $20 total. Not a bad return on a minimal investment.

    Sorry to pick on you Brian, but those "federal funds and Pittman-Robertson fees" are TAXPAYER funds. Too many people out there think the "federal money" is grown on trees and are ignorant as to the true source of the funds and the implications therein, you excluded, I am sure. I have a compulsion to correct people whenever I witness such.... carelessness with the "federal fund" label. I feel taxes should be called as such and those funds should be called what they are, taxpayer dollars.

  19. #19
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    Sorry to pick on you Brian, but those "federal funds and Pittman-Robertson fees" are TAXPAYER funds. Too many people out there think the "federal money" is grown on trees and are ignorant as to the true source of the funds and the implications therein, you excluded, I am sure. I have a compulsion to correct people whenever I witness such.... carelessness with the "federal fund" label. I feel taxes should be called as such and those funds should be called what they are, taxpayer dollars.
    Oh, I know that, sir. They are taxpayer funds that we have already paid, but we're not receiving the benefit of our contribution. They will only be allocated (or "reallocated" if you prefer) back to us if we collect state-level fees. As it stands, a portion of the taxes that you and I pay are going to other states that collect higher license and tag fees from their resident and non-resident hunters alike.

    Incidentally, I clarified in a latter post that we do indeed pay these fees and that they're not grown on trees:

    We pay into the Pittman-Robertson fund every time we buy ammunition or firearms, yet we cannot reap the full benefit of this fund because we do not collect enough in license and tag fees.

  20. #20

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    Frank, I'm not complaining and don't want you to think I was ( I can see how maybe it came off that way) I understand your concern with not knowing where the funds would be spent. Just trying to shed some light on the financial benefits of living up there as compared to most other states. Not you, but I hear from a lot of folks things like "it's expensive to live up here so we deserve this or that" or "we are Alaskans, we are entitled to handouts" I don't know of another state that gives out free tags to residents. just seems like a good place for F&G to get some revenue. Then when a group of hunters goes to the BOG to try and stop a bill that clearly favors non-res hunters, they can say "look, we have generated $X dollars do you want to loose that?"

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