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 Economic Development News 
Wednesday, September 17 2014
Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) Target Campaign

American Association of Port Authorities -- Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) funding in the Fiscal Year 2015 Energy and Water Development Appropriation must meet the WRRDA target for jobs and economic growth to ensure U.S. competitiveness in world trade.
 
A key focus of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) is improving port-related infrastructure, including the water-side and land-side connections to ports, to efficiently move goods in and out of our nation. This message highlights:
 
WHY HMT FUNDING MATTERS TO YOU

Ports play an important role in job creation and economic prosperity for every American and every constituent, even though most Congressional Districts do not themselves contain ports. State-specific benefits can be found here.

Passage of the Water Resources and Reform Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA) was a major accomplishment of the 113th Congress.  Congress, through WRRDA 2014, committed to achieve full use of HMT through incremental increases over a ten-year period, with FY 2015 being the first year. It is vitally important that this commitment be met.

The HMT is collected from users to fund navigation channel maintenance, enabling freight movement to and from the global marketplace.  HMT tax collections and interest are estimated to be $1.79 billion in FY 2014. This tax must be fairly and equitably utilized.

Now Congress needs to Hit the HMT Target in the Energy and Water Development Act appropriations. FY 2015 has a target of 67 percent of FY 2014 HMT revenues — $1.17 billion.  The House hit the HMT target, thanks to a floor amendment that passed overwhelmingly 281-137. The Senate subcommittee report proposes to appropriate $1.075 billion, which while an increase over FY 2014 funds, does not hit the target.

Letters are being circulated asking Members to sign to urge Congressional Appropriators to Hit the HMT Target – using the House HMT amount when appropriators meet to prepare Omnibus legislation for FY 2015 appropriations.

Here are links to the letters:
U.S. SENATE:  Letter Senate Members Are Asked to Sign Onto
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:  Letter House Members Are Asked to Sign Onto

We need to maintain the momentum of WRRDA’s strong bipartisan passage, which was approved 412-4 and 91-7 in the House and Senate, respectively. The U.S. needs fully maintained navigation channels for safe and efficient freight transportation to the global marketplace which will result in national economic growth and increased skilled craft level jobs throughout the U.S.

For more information, contact Jim Walker at 703-684-5700 or jwalker@aapa-ports.org.  And why not follow AAPA on Facebook at facebook.com/seaportsdeliverprosperity and on Twitter: @AAPA_seaports 

Jim Walker | Director of Navigation Policy and Legislation
American Association of Port Authorities

1010 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 684-5700
Connect with AAPA
Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 10:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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