Raise fees, not taxes

To the Editor:

Why hasn’t town council implemented the new $2 per passenger infrastructure fee recommended by Bermello Ajamil consultants? This one new fee could generate $400,000 to $500,000 per year in new revenues.

Looking at the 232,192 cruise ship passengers expected this season, a $2 per passenger fee would bring in $464,384 in new revenues. This would be more than enough to cover $247,000 annual debt service on the ferry terminal property bond and still have $217,384 per year to use toward development costs.

Bermello Ajamil’s May 16 recommendation that the town add a new $2 per passenger infrastructure fee was based on the consultants’ review of similar markets.

This kind of cruise ship fee increase is long overdue. Our taxes, our cost of living, and cost of infrastructure have continued to increase and the number of cruise ship passengers arriving has greatly increased, but the cruise ship port development fee has never been increased since it was first set back in July 2009.

More delays now means more lost revenues and higher taxes. Why hasn’t the town council taken any action to implement this new $2 per passenger fee? It’s time to increase cruise ship fees, not our taxes.

Diane Vreeland

Bar Harbor

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