Online poll will select new Georgia wildlife license plates

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 11:05 AM
Last updated 6:37 PM
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Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division wants the public to help choose designs — and species — for new vehicle license plates that will be sold to finance conservation programs.

“We hope to have them available late this year or early in 2013, and we also hope people will help us by voting for the ones they like the most,” said Mike Harris, chief of the division’s nongame and conservation section.

The department will offer two new nongame wildlife plates that will be chosen from seven candidates that include the blue bunting, Atlantic right whale, green tree frog, blue heron, hummingbird and two bald eagle designs.

Other new plates will feature bobwhite quail portraits and artwork showcasing the state’s colorful trout species.

Past designs for Georgia wildlife motor vehicle tags featured small sections of artwork, usually 4-by-4 inches, but the new designs will cover the entire plate, Harris said, adding that the online poll will be available through Sept. 15.

The special tags cost $60 and carry an annual renewal fee of $35, based on a new specialty tag fee structure adopted in 2010 by the General Assembly. Under that program, the wildlife fund the tag is benefiting will receive $10 from the initial purchase, and an additional $10 from each annual renewal fee.

The previous program required an initial purchase fee of $25, of which $22 went to the designted fund, with no annual renewal cost.

Although sales of new wildlife tags have fallen by about 80 percent since the new fee structure was adopted, part of that loss has been mitigated by the new revenue stream created by the annual renewal fees.

“Before, it was just $25 top get the plate, and now it is $60, which makes a big difference when times are tight,” Harris said. “What’s been good, though, is that part of that has been made up by people who keep their plates year after year.”

Revenue from the wildlife tag program totaled $2.8 million in fiscal 2011, but declined to $2.3 million in fiscal 2012, he said. Projections indicate the revenue will decline further — to about $1.8 million — for fiscal 2013.

Officials are hoping the new series of tags will stimulate more interest in the program — and more revenue from sales and renewals.

The money generated by the tags is used to acquire public lands and for programs to conserve and manage wildlife other than game animals, including endangered and threatened species. Georgia’s Nongame Conservation Section receives no state general funds and typically gets two-thirds of its revenue from license sales, with other income derived from grants and direct contributions.

Georgia’s Bobwhite Quail Initiative plate provides the sole funding source to support habitat restoration efforts on private lands to benefit bobwhite quail and other game and nongame wildlife species. Trout tags help support habitat and trout programs in Georgia waters.

Georgians can vote for the new wildlife tags by visiting www.georgiawildlife.com and clicking the “Make Your Vote Count” link.

Comments (12) Add comment
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BamaMan
2363
Points
BamaMan 08/28/12 - 12:17 pm
4
1
My first reaction is

that SOMEONE up there will probably pick what THEY want anyway, so why bother. With all these photographic tags now, it's not easy to tell what state they are. Well, went to the website for voting. You have to fill out a survey. You HAVE to answer several questions, or it will not finish. It's NOYB how much I make or what level of education I have, or if I hunt, fish, etc.

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 08/28/12 - 12:04 pm
1
0
its important that everyone

its important that everyone get out and vote on this :P i didnt hear about the last license election and we ended up with a silly plate that looks like it has pumpkins on it

allhans
23688
Points
allhans 08/28/12 - 12:51 pm
2
0
$60.00 for 1 year?

$60.00 for 1 year?

Little Lamb
46074
Points
Little Lamb 08/28/12 - 01:00 pm
3
0
Azziz

They have Dr. Ricardo Azziz running the selection contest. It doesn't matter what you vote for.

dichotomy
33069
Points
dichotomy 08/28/12 - 01:05 pm
2
1
You didn't miss much on the

You didn't miss much on the last vote. All of the choices were ugly. I'd rather keep my old plate another 10 years.

clayh
12
Points
clayh 08/28/12 - 02:52 pm
4
0
Scrap the new fee structure

If they really wanted to stimulate more interest in the program, they would scrap the new fee structure and return to the old one-time fee of $25. Is it really a big shock that specialty tag sales are down 80%? Raising taxes or “fees” affects behavior and the fact that our legislators could not foresee that less revenue would be gained by raising the initial tag expense by 240% is mind blowing.

Rob Pavey
552
Points
Rob Pavey 08/28/12 - 03:01 pm
2
0
one thing I forgot to include......

for folks who already own one of the existing wildlife tags are welcome to keep them and do not have to buy another one (although they are now subject to the annual renewal fee, just like people with UGA or other prestige tags).

obkad
222
Points
obkad 08/28/12 - 04:08 pm
1
0
new name

why not Board of Regents "blowholes"....

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 08/28/12 - 04:18 pm
1
0
It's $60 additional dollars,

It's $60 additional dollars, every year, on top of regular fees? Hmm... A one time fee, I'm okay with that... but not if it's just to continue using the plate which has already been created, and you put a new sticker on every year... makes no sense.

Bacon Grease
330
Points
Bacon Grease 08/28/12 - 04:40 pm
3
0
Bumper Sticker

Just buy a bumper sticker. Donate to your choosen cause don't let some bureaucrat decide were to spend your money. Look at the deductions on your pay stub at the money that is allready being taken from you.

Bacon Grease
330
Points
Bacon Grease 08/28/12 - 04:42 pm
0
0
nevertoolate
291
Points
nevertoolate 08/28/12 - 05:18 pm
0
0
Tag

I'm keeping my ASU tag!

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