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Editor’s notes: If it ain’t broke it will be soon
editor's notes

A Richmond Hill buddy of mine who lives in the Main Street subdivision sent me an email the other day lamenting all the racket he’s hearing from Highway 17.

“You would not believe the increase in traffic noise, especially around 7 to 8 am that we now experience after the erection of the Enmarket on the corner of 17 South and Harris Trail Road,” he wrote. “I can see parts of it thru the trees now.”

In a follow up email, the same guy said he thought about emailing the mayor to fuss, but “Pastor said the other day not to complain.” Editor’s note: I’m keeping his name out of this in case somebody in power decides to come egg his house or shoot out his porch lights with a BB gun, or call his house and ask him if he has any Prince Albert in a can.

Besides, what’s done is done, and what isn’t done will be done before everything is said and done. In short, there’s a lot more racket coming.

And if it ain’t broke now, it will be. Probably sooner rather than later.

Plus, as my late and much missed father always told me when I’d whine about something, “don’t worry about it. They can kill you, but they can’t eat you.”

If that doesn’t cheer you up nothing will. Anyhow I commiserated, something I seem to be doing a lot more of lately with a lot more people when it comes to growth and traffic and all this racket.

But then I had an idea. Stole it, actually. Some lawmakers in my home state of South Carolina are kicking around the idea of a yankee tax, which would basically tax newcomers $500 to move to the Palmetto State.

This tax would come in the form of a onetime $250 for a driver’s license and $250 for vehicle registration, with the money going to help pay for the burden all the newcomers are putting on infrastructure already paid for by other people, and help fund the stuff the state will need to do to try and catch up.

I’ve rarely been prouder to be a South Carolinian.

I’m also of the opinion Georgia should consider instituting some yankee taxation of its own. I’d probably go further than that, if I were suddenly elected dictator of Georgia.

For one thing, I’d put an impact fee on kids. You bring your kids here from another state and unless you’re military or serving as a first responder, you’re going to pay something up front for the additional classroom space and teachers and assistant superintendents taxpayers here will have to fund to teach your kids and put up with nutjob parents patrolling the internet for kitty litter in classrooms. Even $500 would help buy some wet wipes.

And then I’d abolish school taxes for all those over 55 and those who don’t have children. I should abolish all taxes for seniors, come to think of it, and set the retirement age at 55, and slap a statewide per house impact fee on these mega-developers to provide a pension for folks to tide them over until they were old enough to draw social security and Medicare.

I’d also establish a statewide environmental impact fee to cover the damage all this progress is doing to the environment. It’s going to get to the point we’re going to have to go to Long County to see a live turtle or some buzzards.

I’d stick an additional fine to the penalties imposed on those who move here from somewhere else and then commit crimes.

I’d limit the number of driver’s licenses available per household to two, and put a cap on new licenses. I’d get somebody good at this sort of thing to figure out the maximum number of drivers our roads can currently handle and not issue new licenses until there’s an opening – say someone kicks the bucket or quits driving or moves away.

As for how you define a yankee, some folks seem to think it’s up for debate (I know someone from a midwestern state who thinks she’s not a yankee but she is). The best definition I’ve ever run across came from an English literature professor who said, and I’m paraphrasing: “A yankee is someone who comes from, or whose parents, grandparents or more distant ancestors came from, a state that fought against the South in the War Between the States.”

That rules me out, I’m relieved to say. Finally, I’d weigh making northerners who move down here – especially the loud jolly ones who want to carry on conversations with the cashier instead of checking out, like we’ve got all day – pay us Southerners reparations for the time we spend waiting behind them in line at the supermarket or hardware store or any other business establishment, because it seems to be getting longer every day.

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