Lawmakers will have to make up lost fees for discounted hunting licenses

Lawmakers will have to make up lost fees for discounted hunting licenses

April 20th, 2017 by Andy Sher in Politics State

Who knew one bird could cause so much craziness? But each spring, the gobbler hunting season causes otherwise sane people to sacrifice sleep, family and other priorities in pursuit of the wild turkey, writes outdoors columnist Larry Case.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Tennessee lawmakers in the future would have to provide tax dollars to make up for the discounted hunting and fishing license fees they grant to various groups under a Senate bill passed today.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, is scheduled to be heard next week in a House committee.

An avid hunter and fisherman, Bell said he has no problem with past discounts that lawmakers have enacted on behalf of minors, veterans and disabilities. 

But he said such actions cut into Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency revenue. When the TWRA's latest fees came out, there was a 20 percent jump which officials said was necessary to recoup a $5 million loss in operational revenue.

"The TWRA had to raise it to make up for policy decisions" made by state lawmakers, Bell said. 

Bell says the bill requires that if lawmakers grant discounts to new groups in the future, it "will be up to the state to fund.