It's Tuesday June 18, 2013
June 21, 2012
To the Editor:
While I am pleased we have a “stay of execution” on the Minnesott Ferry toll, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how this will play out if we do not stay diligent.
We are not out of the woods. Reading between the lines, a toll will try to be put in next year’s budget at this time.
We must not become lax and let this fall through the cracks at budget time next year.
One of the really rewarding aspects of working at the grass roots level to repeal the ferry tolls imposed on the working people of eastern North Carolina is that for us it is an issue about people, not politics. Fair-minded people from both parties have joined together to fight the ferry tolls, because we know that it will tax a group of people that can least afford it, and it will generate almost no net revenue for the State.
Sadly, after the NC Senate voted to pass their budget Thursday, the ferry toll issue has become nothing but politics. Our elected officials gave a $3,500/year tax break to corporate lawyers, and other unincorporated businesses, some who make more than three quarters of a million dollars a year, while at the same time standing firm on charging men and women who drive log trucks, and fish trucks, and plumbing trucks, and yes, even school buses, hundreds of dollars a year as a “user fee” to ride a ferry to work.
The Senators say, “It’s only a couple hundred dollars a year”.
Two hundred dollars is not a lot of money, unless you don’t have two hundred dollars. Maybe you spent it at the dentist on your children’s teeth. Maybe you are $200 short on paying your mortgage. Maybe you need $200 to buy new school clothes for your kids.
The Senate leadership has touted this as a “jobs budget for small businesses.” The only jobs I see on the horizon are more jobs for the lawyers when the log truck drivers, and fish truck drivers, and plumbing contractors file for bankruptcy.
Below is the email sent to State Senator Jean Preston and State Senate President Pro Tem, Phil Berger after Wednesday’s Senate budget vote to impose tolls on all ferries.
The North Carolina Constitution says in Section 2. of Article One
“All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.”
Nowhere in the North Carolina or US Constitutions does it say political power originates from the Party. This is the reason I am registered as an Independent. Party discipline has ruined our representation.
Your “lock-step” votes against the Ferry Tax amendment to HB 950 proposed by Senator White is, if not a direct violation, certainly a violation of the spirit of the NC Constitution. The citizens of Eastern North Carolina have come out strongly against the new Ferry Tax, we have petitioned, we have E-mailed, we have called and we have visited you in your offices.You still ignore us.
I can assure you that we will remember this disdain you have shown for your citizens in the November Elections.
Larry Summers also writes, by way of explanation:
Three Republican Senators, including Senator Preston, voted for the amendment (#4) that would have delayed the Ferry Tax for a year. Every Republican Senator present did, however, vote for HB 950 that includes language that would implement a Ferry Tax throughout the system starting this year.
The letter writer has shared a letter he wrote to State Senator Jean Preston who represents Pamlico County in the General Assembly:
I am Larry Summers, a Town of Oriental Commissioner(Pamlico County), Partially Disabled Veteran, and a retired US Army Aviator. I am concerned that House Bill 142, that is currently in the Senate Rules and Operations Committee may get further watered down in the Senate.
What was a bill to abolish the Ferry Tolls turned into a bill that, among other actions, only delayed implementation of new the Ferry Tolls established under last years Finance Bill.
I would like to ask you to attempt to amend the bill to abolish the Ferry Tolls that were added last year. I am attaching the original bill HB 962 that was sponsored by Representatives Spear and Iler and co-sponsored by, among others, our local representative Sanderson.
If that attempt is not successful please insure that we keep the language that delays the implementation until the end of the fiscal year in 2013. This will mean that we will have to fight this again in the next session.
The legislature has nor seen the last of we citizens who oppose the ferry tolls from Pamlico County. I will certainly ask everyone running for your current seat and the House District 3 seat to assure us that they will work to eliminate these unfair tolls.
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