Feds want to study border-crossing fee

BELLINGHAM — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants Congress to authorize the study of a fee that could be collected from everyone who enters this country at land crossings.

The Bellingham Herald reported that the department’s 2014 budget proposal seeks increases in existing fees charged for services, including fees air and sea travelers pay when they enter the country.

But the agency also wants to study the feasibility of collecting a land border crossing fee for pedestrians and passenger vehicles along the northern and southwest borders of the United States. Until now, no fees have been imposed on those who enter by car, bus or train.

The budget request said the study should consider a fee that could be added to existing tolls or to ticket prices for those arriving by bus or train.

Local officials said they’re skeptical.

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