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June 25, 2014
Two years ago, a grassroots effort kept the NC Legislature’s mandated toll on local ferries from kicking in. Last year, the Legislature wrote language that, on the surface kept the tolls away, but put the onus on regional transportation boards to find ways to finance new ferries. In contrast to that, there also arose a new idea: get rid of all the ferry tolls and bring in more tourism dollars as a result.
Fast forward to this session of the Legislature, where the lines are drawn not between the parties, but between the House and the Senate. Greg Piner of Oriental played a big role in the grassroots campaign to prevent the tolls from being charged on our local Minnesott Neuse River ferry. In this Letter to the Editor, he says now is the time to call and email lawmakers if you want to keep the ferries free.
To The Editor:
The North Carolina House and Senate have created a Conference Committee that will be negotiating differences in their respective budgets during the next several days.
The House version of the budget eliminates tolls on all ferries in NC. The Senate version keeps existing tolling and the burden of local Transportation Boards to find funding to buy new ferries. We need to let all members of the Conference Committee know that we support the House budget that eliminates all ferry tolls. Below are reasons that the House budget is better:
Eliminating ferry tolls will increase tax revenue for the State.
Ferry Tolls are regressive and badly hurt small businesses in eastern NC.
Eliminating ferry tolls will provide an economic boost for small businesses and generate far more tax dollars from tourists than can ever be generated from tolls.
Please call and email the members below and tell them that you support the House Budget that eliminates all ferry tolls.
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