It’s coming up on Memorial day, and that of course is the official kick off of the “Away Season” here in the Pine Tree state. Hordes of rich snots from away will be slithering over our borders, each one of them with the attitude that we Mainer’s ain’t nothin’ but a bunch a dumb hicks. Of course, they’ll also come equipped with a bag full of demands, and pretty colored Amero-dollars, which we can’t seem to get enough of, for some reason.
What brings this up is an article in today’s Portland Press regarding the increasingly often act of using public parking, such as Wal-mart, as a free campground for those mega dollar RVs. If you think about the idea, it really is rather silly. A man goes out and buys a $400,000.00 motor home and then parks over night at a local Wal-mart because he doesn’t want to spend thirty bucks on a campsite. That’s just too sad a state to even address. Cheap buggers shouldn’t even be allowed on the road, in my mind.
But unfortunately, special interests, as they are want to do in today’s world of political trash, have come forward proffering yet another piece of legislation regulating even the simple act of allowing Wal-mart and other retailers to offer their parking lots as an overnight parking source. in what really should be a local ordinance issue, the state is now looking at the potential revenue to be gained by the taxation collected from campground rental fees by enacting yet another regulation.
So what is the financial gain as opposed to the loss by restricting overnight parking from a private business that has no problem with the issue? According to the article, by Tom Bell, “Proponents say the measure would help local campgrounds and RV parks stay in business and also allow the state to recoup nearly $1 million in lost state lodging taxes.”
One million dollars to the state in uncollected taxes. That’s what it says. That’s a lot of money, or is it? Apparently, most of the parking is done at many of the 24 Wal-marts in Maine, even though there are a few other locations where one may do so as well, such as LL Beans, Kittery Trading Post and others. But to put this in a reality aspect, we have to look at this as an entire picture. If people are parking at these places, then they are more than likely also spending money at these places, aren’t they?
According to the article, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Anne Perry, (D-Calais) , was quoted as saying “she wants RVers to feel welcome in Maine, she said. But if RVers avoid the state because they aren’t allowed to park for free, that’s not a great loss. “If they are parking one night in parking lots, they are not staying in Maine,” she said. “They are driving through.”
That’s a fine booster slogan for Maine’s tourist industry. We want you but it’s no biggie if you don’t come. Ayuh, life in Maine it is.
Here is a rather lengthy, but necessary clipping;
RVers around the nation are mobilizing. News about the legislation has spread via the Internet on message boards and newsletters. People are sending e-mails and making phone calls to legislators, Democratic Gov. John Baldacci’s office, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and Maine tourism offices.
If it passes, Maine would become the first state in the nation to ban RVs from commercial parking lots. Similar bills in Montana and Nevada were defeated after protests from RVers, according to a news release by the Escapees RV Club, a Texas-based club with 32,000 members nationally.
“If this legislation passes, it may well set a precedent for the rest of the country, and we could see our freedom to choose where we park permanently revoked!” the club said in an electronic newsletter.
The callers are delivering a simple message: If the Legislature passes this bill, RVers will no longer come to Maine.
So let me see if I get this right. A special interest group, the campground owners, want to have a statewide law banning overnight parking for RVs anywhere in the state because its taking lodging fees from them. Another special interest group, the RVers don’t want the law to pass because they claim they will lose the right to park anywhere they want to.
I say both groups are borderline morons. Let me put it this way. If the campground owners want a parking ordinance why don’t they push their local communities to pass the ordinance. That’s where these types of laws belong. Why ban it statewide, when in fact there may be places where these RVs cannot find accommodations and would have no place else to park? Should we force some rich old geezer to drive a vehicle the size of some semi- trucks to drive beyond their ability?
And as for these rich old geezers, why the hell are you driving these monsters in the first place? If you can afford to spend as much money as I make in six to eight years or more, why can’t you plop a couple of twenties on the counter and pay for a valid site? You can buy the fuel and pay for the taxes and repairs but you refuse to pay the rent?
And as for losing the right to park where you want to, I’ve got news for you. You don’t have the right to park wherever you want to. You can park in Wal-marts lots not because you have the right to park there, you can park there because they allow you to park there. To be honest with you RVers, you’re not helping your image by making this empty threat. Loosen up those six figure checkbooks and spend some money in the towns you stop in, and not just at Wal-mart, either. Do the right thing and rent a site.
It’s going to be a long cold summer in Maine this year, isn’t it?