Ohio auditor suggests raising fishing, hunting permit costs

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The state auditor is recommending an increase in the cost of Ohio’s fishing and hunting permits to boost yearly revenue.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Auditor Dave Yost made those and other recommendations following a performance audit of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

He proposed increasing the fishing license cost from $19 to $23 for Ohio residents. For non-residents, he suggested increasing the license cost from $40 to $48.

Yost also suggests that raising the cost of a non-resident deer hunting permit from $24 to $38 would raise more than $250,000 per year.

The audit says Ohio charges less for permits than surrounding states. Proposed changes to fees for fishing and hunting permits could increase annual revenue by more than $1.7 million.

One local businessman who sells hunting and fishing licenses in the area said if the state wants to charge more for those permits, he is fine with it.

“The license fees are very minimal in comparison especially to the western states. One of my best friends lives in Wyoming and it costs him $1,000 a year to go hunting. So our prices are quite fair. If they make a couple dollars more, this is something we can live with,” Mike Miller of Miller Rod & Gun said.

In addition to the license changes, the state Auditor is suggesting increased rates for accommodations in state campgrounds as well as staffing changes he claims could bring in more than $8 million extra each year.

The head of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said those proposals are now being reviewed.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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