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Hyde opposes 2013 Ferry Tax

2013 FERRY TAX ISSUE UPDATE - July 22, 2013:


No ferry tolls will be imposed on the Ocracoke/Hatteras ferry.  

No new tolls will be imposed on any ferries for the fiscal year 2013-2014. Cedar Island and Swan Quarter and other existing ferry tolls will not be removed.  Congratulations to everyone who voiced opposition to new ferry tolls.

Our legislators worked diligently to protect our basic transportation needs.  Senator Bill Cook and Rep. Paul Tine joined forces with Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation Chairman John Torbett, Rep. Charles Jeter, Rep. Frank Iler, and other legislators to fight for us. Please thank them for their endurance in the legislative process. They fought for us and prevailed. 

This week, the NC General Assembly moves through the process of passing the Appropriations Act of 2013, Senate Bill #402. In one of its last actions of the 2013 session, the Legislature will restore Five Million Dollars originally removed from the Ferry Division budget.  We are safe from ferry tolls for the present time.  The details of this issue are found on pages 356 through 358 of Senate Bill #402, Proposed Conference Committee Substitute, which was published Sunday evening. 

For the first time in history, North Carolina’s population is one half urban and one half rural.  The 2013 Legislature welcomed many new legislators who reflect this massive change: ½ legislators are from urban districts and ½ from rural districts in eastern and western North Carolina.

For coastal counties, future decisions on transportation expenditures may be dramatically different.  Several new laws have altered the decision-making process. The Highway Trust Fund, comprising fuel taxes and select federal funds, will no longer be used for non-transportation purposes.

The Highway Trust Fund will be spent using a new formula: forty percent (40%) will be used for Statewide Strategic Mobility Projects; thirty percent (30%) will be used for Regional Impact Projects and will be allocated by population of Distribution Regions; and the remaining thirty percent (30%) will be allocated in equal share among the Transportation Department Divisions, including the Ferry Division.

Hyde County is now is Distribution Region A, with 19 other counties.

Hyde County citizens will have the opportunity for input on these decisions through the Albemarle Rural Planning Organization (ARPO).  The Albemarle Commission serves as the lead planning agency for the ARPO. Active involvement by Hyde County residents in the long range planning process will be necessary to plan for future transportation expenses, including the purchase of new ferries.

Hyde County Commissioners will certainly take a fresh look at the importance of strategic representation on the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) of the ARPO.

For more information, please contact Joe McClees or Henri McClees.

McClees Consulting, Inc.

PO Box 430  Oriental, NC 28571-0430

Office (252) 249-1097,  Fax (252) 249-3275

Joe’s mobile (252) 671-1585,   Henri’s mobile (252) 671-1559

FERRY TAX UPDATE at the end of this legislative week

Thanks to you who have contacted House Transportation Committee members to thank them for the passage of House Bill #475 “Ferry Tolling Alternatives”.

House Bill #475 Edition #2 now proceeds to the House Finance Committee.  This bill is an important part of our strategy to stop ferry taxes on ferries.

Please call and email House Finance Committee members to ask their support for HB#475.  This Committee has seventy (70) pending bills!  We need to inform Committee members how important HB#475 is to coastal citizens. Please contact the House Finance Committee members.  Yes, it is a large committee.  Please help us by contacting them.

We need the Finance Committee to hear HB#475 and vote YES.  Ask Committee members to support this bill and encourage the Chairmen of House Finance to calendar the bill for hearing.

Also, we are working to be sure no ferry tax provisions are included in the House version of the State Budget.  Much budget work is being done in the House Appropriations subcommittees, including the Transportation Subcommittee.

Thanks to the 100+ people who submitted letters of opposition to the Rules that would have gone into effect onJuly 1, 2013 to begin collection of ferry tolls.  Because we submitted more than 10 letters, the proposed Rules must be reviewed by the legislature before implementation. Chapter 150B is the Administrative Procedures Act.  This may be somewhat confusing, as Chapter 150B has nothing directly to do with ferry tolls, but has to do with the manner in which Rules (required in order to collect tolls) are written, passed, and can be stopped temporarily.  With your help, we stopped the July 1, 2013 imposition of the Rules regarding collection of tolls by submitting more than ten letters before the deadline of May 16, 2013.

Recognizing they cannot now collect tolls on July 1st, the latest edition of the Senate’s proposed State Budget,Senate Bill #402, provides ferry tolls will begin on November 1, 2013.  Further, the Senate added language to exempt ferry tolls from the “Ten Letter Rule” in the future.  See pages 335 and 336 of SB #402 for these provisions.

Thank you for your patience as we work through this legislative process.  We are thankful for your help as we work to protect the ferries from tax.

Best regards, Henri and Joe

Joe & Henri McClees

McClees Consulting, Inc. 

PO Box 430 Oriental, NC 28571

Office (252)

Joe's Mobile (252) 671-1585, Henri's Mobile (252) 671-1559 

May 11, 2013

House Transportation Committee to vote on "Ferry Tolling Alternatives" Bill May 14, 2013.  Click here to find out how to contact the Committee members regarding the bill.

March 14, 2013

House Transportation Committee to vote on "Ferry Tolling Alternatives" Bill May 14, 2013.  Click here to find out how to contact the Committee members regarding the bill.

Please write coastal representatives and NCDOT to voice your opposition to the proposed Ferry Tax. Correspondence doesn’t have to be lengthy, even just a NO FERRY TAX message would work. However, if you have time, please tell legislators how this tax would affect your business, community and quality of life. It’s important we bombard Raleigh with this important message from our coastal community. Send comments via phone, email or USPS by March 28, 2013 to:

Jamille Robbins, Sr. Public Involvement Officer

1598 Mail Svc. Center, Raleigh NC   27969

Phone: (919) 707-6085, Fax: (919) 212-5785



Please contact the following legislators:

Sen. Norman SandersonPhone: (919) 733-5706
Legislative Mailing Address: NC Senate 300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 629. Raleigh, NC

Sen. Bill Cook
Phone: (919) 715-8293
Legislative Mailing Address: NC Senate 300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 525. Raleigh, NC 27603-5925

Rep. Michael Speciale

Legislative Mailing Address: NC House of Representatives 16 W. Jones Street, Room 1008. Raleigh, NC 27601-1096

Rep. Paul Tine
Phone Number. 919-733-5906
Email Address.
Legislative mailing address: 16 W. Jones Street, Room 1307
Raleigh, NC 27601-1096

Here is more information about how to email all legislators in the NC General Assembly



March 9, 2013 - Additional Info on trip to Raleigh 3/11/13

Itinerary for Monday, 3/11/13 Trip to Raleigh



5337 Highway 264 East, Washington, NC 27889

1:30 pm Be in the parking lot by 1:30 pm to board bus to Raleigh. Park in “P8” parking lot.  Enter BCCC on Campus Drive West, turn left into Parking Lot 8 next to Building 8.

1:50 pm   Bus transport by Southern Express departs Beaufort County Community College, 5337 Highway 264 East, Washington, NC 27889.  The ride is FREE for passengers.

Park your car at Beaufort CCC and ride with us.  No charge for parking. We will transport any citizen who wishes to attend this Raleigh hearing, up to capacity of the bus. Many citizens are car pooling and will drive cars to Raleigh, particularly from Pamlico County. 

4:00 pm Arrive at NC General Assembly, 16 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601.  Meetings with legislators regarding NO FERRY TAX.

5:00 pm Dinner (at your own expense).

6:30 pm Arrive at Wake Commons Building, 4011 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610. Immediately, sign up to speak against ferry tolls.

7:00 pm Public Hearing at Wake Commons Building.

9:30 pm Depart Raleigh, arrive back in Beaufort County approx 11:30 pm

PUBLIC HEARINGS are scheduled for:

Monday, March 11, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

Wake Commons – Room 100B

4011 Carya Drive

Raleigh, NC


Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm

            Ocracoke School Gymnasium

            120 Schoolhouse Road

            Ocracoke, NC


Monday, March 18, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

Pamlico Community College

Ned Everett Delamar Center Auditorium

5049 Highway 306 South

Grantsboro, NC


Concerned citizens should plan to attend these important hearings. If you live in Pamlico County and need transportation to the Raleigh public hearing, contact Larry Summers (252)  or Greg Piner (252)


Following the DOT presentation, the Public Hearing will be open for statements, questions and comments. Anyone wishing to speak should register to do so at the sign-in table prior to the presentation. Please arrive about 30 minutes early to allow time to sign-in. The proposed ferry toll rates as well as a link to submit a comment are posted to NCDOT’s webpage.


In 2011, the NC General Assembly mandated that NCDOT increase annual ferry revenue to $5 million. To accomplish this, the Ferry Division was asked to increase toll rates on the three routes that currently have tolls, and begin tolling two additional routes by April 1, 2012.  On Feb. 29, 2012, former Governor Perdue issued an Executive Order placing a one-year moratorium on the collection of the tolls. SL 2012-142 House Bill 950 directed DOT to disregard the executive order and clarified ferry tolling in Section 24.18(a) G.S. 136-82, directing DOT to collect ferry tolls, as established by the NC Board of Transportation.  The Legislature and the Governor reached a stalemate over the ferry toll issue, and the one-year moratorium expires at the end of February 2013.


During its January 2013 meeting, the NC Board of Transportation adopted a resolution authorizing the Secretary of Transportation to adopt rules establishing ferry tolls pursuant to existing law. The upcoming public hearings are the next step in the process to change the administrative code and implement the changes required to the tolls.

In the 2013 legislative session, Sen. Norman Sanderson, Sen. Bill Cook, Rep. Michael Speciale, Rep. Paul Tine, and other coastal legislators are working on legislation to roll back the ferry tolls which threaten coastal citizens.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions. Best regards, Henri and Joe McClees

Office: (252) 249-1097

Fax: (252) 249-3275

Joe’s mobile (252) 671-1585

Henri’s mobile (252) 671-1559