Senator Wicker holds oil town hall meeting - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Senator Wicker holds oil town hall meeting

By Doug Walker – bio | email

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - A large crowd gathered on the bottom floor at Shaggy's in Pass Christian.  And most of them had something to say about the spill. 

The tension and frustration was easy to see, and hear. Leonard Papania is a commercial fisherman.  "I've filled out all the papers, all the forms, I call them and they say they'll call you back, but they don't call me back."

Elected officials were also at the meeting and were greeted by worried faces.  People are very concerned about the future of the Mississippi coastline, and the living people make off it.  Windy Swetman is a Harrison County supervisor.  "We just want to make sure today that our representation in Washington gets it from us, local elected officials that are here with our constituents." 

More speakers come to the mic, voicing more concerns.   When you think of the economic hardships created by this spill, you think of boaters, you think of shrimpers, crabbers, people who make their living on the water. 

But other events are being lost to the spill as well, big money events like fishing tournaments. Scott Ratcliff is with the Gulf Coast Sports Commission.   "Over 8 million dollars economic impact lost and that's not even counting our offshore boat series, as I understand from Woody Bailey they are looking at the numbers being significantly lower that what they've seen in the past."  And that's just the potential loss of two fishing tournaments. 

But Senator Wicker also had a suggestion for those suffering from financial losses, and not just looking for money from BP.  "There's a way that we can let people amend their tax returns for the last five years, take a tax loss as long as five years ago and get some money back from the federal government." Wicker said. "It's called a carry back provision."  

And for those at the town hall meeting, a little extra carry is definitely needed right now. 

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