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Want to come spend your money here? First, spend $5.50 at the border

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A proposed $5.50 surcharge on Canadians who come to the United States via air or boat was scuttled when President Barack Obama's 2012 budget was defeated, but the surcharge still managed to find its way into law.

The provision was tucked into a recently-passed free trade agreement with Colombia.

Local tourism officials fear that the tax on travelers will squelch visits to attractions on the American side of the border.

"Congress must reverse course and repeal this fee. At a minimum, Congress must exempt ferries and other tourist-based boats from this onerous measure," Republican congressional candidate Matthew A. Doheny said in a news release.

Mr. Doheny's office said the measure will take effect on Nov. 5.

His likely opponent, Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, voted against the Colombian free trade agreement, but for different reasons. Sean R. Magers, a spokesman for Mr. Owens, said the congressman is working to extend the exemption for Canadian visitors.

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