Bev Perdue yesterday announced that she will issue an executive order
blocking new taxes that the General Assembly imposed on passengers on
the state’s ferry system.
“This new ferry tax – which I have always opposed – is both excessive
and discriminatory,” Gov. Perdue said. “It is unjust for the General
Assembly to balance their budget on the backs of coastal working men
In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly mandated that North
Carolina Department of Transportation increase ferry revenue up to $5
million annually by establishing tolls for all ferry routes, except for
the Ocracoke-Hatteras Ferry and the Knotts Island
meet the legislative mandate the new tolls must be in effect by April
The governor’s order is expected to state that coastal North Carolina
is recovering from the recession but at a slower rate because of the
devastation caused by Hurricane Irene last year. She announced the
action yesterday because the new tolls and toll increases would impose
an additional burden on the region.
The governor’s order will impose a 12-month moratorium on collecting
increased tolls on routes that already were tolled and on collecting
new tolls on routes that currently are free. At the end of
moratorium, the North Carolina Department of Transportation will review
the state’s economic conditions and determine whether the moratorium
should continue. The General Assembly could terminate the
moratorium before the 12 months are over.
The order also directs NCDOT to find enough budget reductions to make
up for the revenue that the new ferry tax would raise.
The legislature imposed the new ferry tax over Gov. Perdue’s veto.
The legislature’s budget requires the establishment of the new tolls,
but state law gives DOT the discretion of whether to collect