Fidley Watch: Safe Harbors
By Chris Philips, Managing Editor, PMM
Last month, US Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani, and Port of Tacoma CEO John Wolfe held a press conference at the Port of Seattle to announce proposed legislation they claim will significantly strengthen American ports, including many in the Pacific Northwest.
Their legislation proposes to eliminate the harbor maintenance tax (HMT), a federal tax imposed on shippers based on the value of the goods being shipped through ports. The tax is intended for the maintenance of federal navigational channels, but while HMT revenues are about $1.6 billion per year, only $850-900 million per year is spent on harbor maintenance, leaving waterways under-maintained while building up a surplus approaching $7 billion. The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) says the lack of funding has resulted in full channel depth and width only being available about… (Read Full Article)