The price of dog licenses in Portage County could be going up next year. Officials are looking at recommendations that would raise the $12 annual fee to $14 or higher.
State law changed to offer multiple-year licenses, up to a lifetime dog license that will be ten times whatever a county's annual fee is. The change prompted a review of the county dog warden's office finances, which shows the operation drifting into the red.
Commissioners received three options to consider: increases to $14, $15 or $16 annually. Adoption fees would remain unchanged.
Nearly 30,000 licenses were sold last year, according to Dog Warden Dave McIntyre.
Todd Bragg, head of the commission's fiscal management department, said an increase to $14 would keep the pound in the black for a year or two, but a $15 fee would sustain it for at least five years.
The current $12 fee "would come up very short," Bragg said.
Commissioners were reluctant to increase the license fee and took the proposals for further discussion. The board has until Aug. 31 to set the fees for next year.
The last time license fees were raised was in 2008 when fees went from $10 to the current $12, which is near the bottom of license fees among Ohio's counties. During his five years as dog warden McIntyre has increased the number of licenses sold from 21,956 by nearly a third.
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Facebook: Mike Sever, Record-Courier