BUDGET ELIMINATES SALTWATER FISHING LICENSE FEE
Iím pleased to announce that the saltwater fishing license fee is no more. Enacted over my strenuous objections in 2009, I fought for its removal, and now it is gone.
The saltwater fishing license fee had been enacted in the 2009 State budget, which I had voted against. It was enacted to bring additional money into the Stateís coffers and had been strongly opposed by most local residents.
For many Long Islanders, fishing is a fun, recreational activity. But for others, itís a way of life and a livelihood. Putting a fee, essentially a hidden tax, on this activity was counterproductive and unfair. Iím glad to see weíve finally been able to have it completely eliminated.
Several towns in Nassau and Suffolk had sued the state after the fee was imposed in 2009, and the state was forced to issue more than $1 million in refunds to recreational fishers and charter boat operators who had paid the fee. In 2011-12, I fought to impose a moratorium on the fee, and this year it was completely abolished.
There are already many restrictions placed on those who want to fish in our waters, and we need to make sure that anyone who wants to fish does so legally. With laws on the books requiring anglers to following fish sizes, the number of fish that can be taken, and the types of fish that can be caught, this fee was another burden on those who want to fish, whether for recreation or for their livelihood.