AAPA, 100 Supporters Urge Congressional Action To ‘Fix’ HMT
Letter to Congressional leaders offers long-term funding solution for port maintenance
Maintenance dredging of the Houston Ship Channel
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) … the unified and recognized voice of America’s seaports … together with 100 supporting U.S. ports and other organizations, delivered a letter to House and Senate leadership today, urging them to enact a comprehensive solution to “fix the HMT (Harbor Maintenance Tax) for good.”
America’s seaports are economic engines and vital freight gateways to global markets for American farmers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Ports also serve as critical infrastructure for the U.S. military. Keeping the water highways into its ports well maintained is critically important for U.S. competitiveness.
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. 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.”
About AAPA Founded in 1912 and recognized as the unified voice of seaports in the Americas, AAPA today represents 130 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 200 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. According to IHS Markit’s World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2017 totaled 4.303 billion metric tons in volume and US$2.675 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.741 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.024 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.90 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.305 trillion. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable. For more information, visit www.aapa-ports.org. On Twitter: http://twitter.com/AAPA_Seaports