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Shrimp Tax Proposed
Crustaceans Need To Pay Their Way
April 1, 2013

hrimp are set to be added to a list of other aquatic things that have recently had a new tax applied.

First, it was the Ferry Tax. Then the new Boat Registration Tax. Now, after accomplishing a tax on ferries and boats, State Senator Norm Sanderson’s target is under the water. His new bill, SB505, is titled “The Crustaceans For Carolina Act”.

The new bill taxes shrimp. It states:

one shrimp
This single shrimp will now have a dollar tax
All shrimp caught in North Carolina waters will have a shrimp user fee as follows:

Jumbo Shrimp – $1 per shrimp

Medium Shrimp – $1 per shrimp

Small Shrimp – $1 per shrimp

Crustaceans For Carolina : Background

About 10 million pounds of shrimp are caught each year in North Carolina. With an average count of 25 shrimp per pound, that means 250 million shrimp – raising an estimated $250 million dollars to go to state coffers. The revenue is earmarked for “Conservation and the State Senate Freshman Pension Fund”.

The Shrimp Tax law hit local shrimpers hard. Shrimper Billy Creech says it forced him to put his trawler up for sale.
Senators discussed having a different tax on different sized shrimp, but it was decided that would be too complicated. “Taxing them all the same is more fair,” Sanderson pointed out, adding “plus it encourages fisherman to catch bigger shrimp, because their tax bill will be lower on a per pound basis. If they catch more bigger shrimp, they’ll make more money. It’s a win-win situation.”

Sanderson adds that not all crustaceans are affected. “There is no barnacle tax, for example, at this time” Sanderson says.

While the Shrimp Tax bill will hit any trawler-caught shrimp, there is a loophole. In order to dampen the sting of the earlier Ferry Tax, Sanderson has added a unique twist:

Shrimp caught from a state run ferry are tax exempt.

An enterprising Smith Creek shrimper has responded with an invention that takes advantage of the new Shrimp Tax.

Oriental resident Billy Creech states that he was initially devastated by the new law. “I was pretty down about my lost shrimp business,” says Creech.

After seeing this sign (at left) at an Oriental restaurant, Creech said “that was the final straw – I had to do something”. He started experimenting with new shrimping rigs.
Creech said he then had an epiphany. “I remembered the Ben Franklin quote – ‘Out of adversity comes opportunity.’ So I got to thinking how I could beat the Shrimp Tax.”

The result – Creech has invented and patented a new shrimping rig. Raising $250,000 from local investors to produce the invention, Creech has introduced “TruckTrawl”.

trucktrawl logo

Creech explains:

I had to use that State Ferry Shrimp Tax exemption, so I developed a new way to shrimp. It’s a shrimp trawling rig that attaches to the back of a pickup truck. See, I drive onto the ferry – make sure I’m last in line – then park my truck so I can deploy TruckTrawl”

TownDock.net’s NewsExtra Team was able to obtain these exclusive images from TruckTrawl corporate documents – showing the invention in use:

“Not only do you end up with Tax Free Ferry Caught Shrimp, but you also save big on fuel costs,” states inventor Billy Creech.

Monday morning, the Smith Creek entrepreneur was at work optimizing his invention. “We’re catching so many shrimp I’m having to upgrade the hitch TruckTrawl connects to,” Creech says.

Creech fits a heavy duty TruckTrawl compliant hitch

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