AAPA Urges Congressional Action To “Fix” Harbor Maintenance Tax

file photo
file photo

By The Maritime Executive 06-27-2019 12:54:37

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), together with 100 supporting U.S. ports and other organizations, has delivered a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to enact a comprehensive solution to “fix the HMT (Harbor Maintenance Tax) for good.”

The HMT is paid by shippers to maintain U.S. harbors. However, full use of this tax has yet to be achieved, nor is it guaranteed in the future. There are also well documented problems related to tax fairness that must be fixed, says AAPA: more than 100 stakeholders agree.

The letter to Congressional leadership highlights a proposed solution offered by AAPA that would provide both full use of annual HMT revenues as well as address tax fairness issues. AAPA’s proposed solution calls for full spending of prior year Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund revenues, according to a framework that ports agreed would be fair and equitable. According to the letter, AAPA’s proposed solution “makes maintenance the highest priority, provides protections to address small port and regional port needs, provides increasing equity to large HMT donors and acknowledges Congress’ priority to provide support to energy transfer ports.”

“America’s ports need legislation that will finally fix the HMT for good,” said AAPA Government Relations Vice President Susan Monteverde. “Adopting a comprehensive HMT proposal into upcoming federal legislation would be good for our nation, good for our nation’s ports, and is a top infrastructure priority for AAPA.”