By Sarah Gonzalez, Director of Communications and Digital Media
The NGFA is urging lawmakers to support a bill that would allow full utilization of fees collected in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) for maintaining U.S. harbors and ports at their authorized depths.
In a letter to leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, NGFA said it supports legislation (H.R. 2440) – dubbed the “The Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act of 2019” – that would enable $34 billion deposited into the HMTF to be accessed and spent for its collected and intended purpose, namely, dredging U.S. harbors to their constructed specifications.
“The fact that more than $9 billion has been collected and deposited in the HMTF, but gone unspent for its intended purpose, is a fiscal disservice to those that pay the 0.125 percent ad valorem tax based on the value of cargo imports,” NGFA said in its Oct. 25 letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Sam Graves, R-Mo. “The inability thus far to access and spend those dollars on much-needed dredging has further eroded the United States’ comparative transportation advantage and contributed to lost export opportunities to the detriment of U.S. economic growth.”
The legislation is scheduled to be voted on the House floor during the week of Oct. 28. NGFA members can send their own letters to their members of Congress in support of H.R. 2440 by using this NGFA advocacy link.