Letters to the Editor

Unhappy with Morris legislation to fund ferries

When buying my license tabs I noted that the option to renew at the auditor’s office without paying the $5 fee charged by private outlets has disappeared. The auditor’s office now charges the fee (in addition to the “filing” fee, the “weight base” fee, the “license service” fee and the “wildlife rehabilitation” fee) thanks to a bill, whose primary sponsor was our own state Rep. Jeff Morris, passed in the last legislative session. The stated purpose of the fee is to fund new ferries. It appears to me as a “tax on a tax.”

I fear that our governmental masters may figure out that such a mechanism represents a hitherto untapped source of new revenue. Why, a “property tax collection fee” of a few dollars on each tax payment would raise millions! Same with a 1 or 2 penny “sales tax collection fee” on each retail transaction! The possibilities are breathtaking in scope and would seem to be limited only by the creativity of our legislators. In taxing almost every possible aspect of our lives they have shown impressive ingenuity, but they may be running out of untaxed things to tax. Adding a required “fee” for the privilege of paying those taxes would open unimagined vistas in taxpayer extortion.

I hope such a movement never gets started. Perhaps a way to discourage it would be to remember Rep. Jeff Morris, the man who tried to ignite it, when he runs for reelection.

Warren B. Howe

Bellingham

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