Skip to content

Harbor Maintenance Tax

The Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) is a federal tax imposed on shippers based on the value of the goods being shipped through ports. The tax is placed in a trust fund to be used for maintenance dredging of federal navigational channels. Collection on exports was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1998, therefore the tax is only collected on imports. HMT revenues are about $1.6 billion per year, with expenditures averaging $850-900 million per year, resulting in full channel depth and width only being available about 35 percent of the time.


Communication and Advocacy Documents