DCA Supports Full Utilization of Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund

Image source: Vince Elias/USACE

The U.S. House of Representatives is set to consider H.R. 2440, Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund bill on Monday October 28, 2019.

As reported by the Dredging Contractors of America (DCA), the bill may be presented in the House under “suspension of the rules.”

We strongly support the Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for intended purpose,” said William P. Doyle, CEO and Executive Director of the DCA. “This bipartisan bill makes it easier for Congress to appropriate any funds collected in the Trust Fund for authorized harbor maintenance needs, including the existing $9.3 billion balance in the Trust Fund.”

The legislation enables the expenditure of approximately $34 billion over the next decade, which will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge all Federal harbors to their constructed widths and depths,” he concluded.

In April 2019, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio, Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves, Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace F. Napolitano, Subcommittee Ranking Member Bruce Westerman, and Congressman Mike Kelly introduced H.R. 2396 the Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act, which would unlock billions in already collected fees to maintain the nation’s Federal ports and harbors.

In 1986, Congress enacted the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) to recover the operation and maintenance dredging costs for commercial ports from maritime shippers.

The HMT is directly levied on importers and domestic shippers using coastal or inland ports as a 0.125 percent ad valorem tax on the value of imported cargo (e.g., $1.25 per $1,000 value) and is typically passed along to U.S. taxpayers on the purchase of imported goods or services.

These revenues are deposited into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund within the U.S. Treasury from which Congress currently appropriates funds to the Corps for harbor maintenance dredging.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Trust Fund will collect an additional $24.5 billion in new revenues (including interest) over the next decade—on top of the estimated $9.3 billion in previously collected but unspent revenues.

Yet, according to CBO, Federal appropriations from the Trust Fund are only estimated to total $19.4 billion over the same decade, resulting in the Trust Fund balance reaching $14.4 billion in fiscal year 2029.

 

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3rd International Congress Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging

Russia’s leading maritime industry Media Group PortNews (www.portnews.ru) holds a traditional annual Congress “Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging” in Moscow. 

The two-day Congress includes the 7th International Forum of Dredging Companies and the 3rd Technical Conference “Modern Solutions for Hydraulic Engineering”.

Infrastructure development is among the real sources of Russia’s economy growth. Construction of port facilities and new hydraulic engineering structures on the country’s inland waterways constitute an essential part of all infrastructure projects. It is important to take into account the best international practices to implement these projects effectively.

The program of the Congress will be devoted to the latest technologies for dredging and hydraulic engineering works. Speakers and delegates will refer to real projects to discuss specifics features of dredging works, as well as dedicated fleet and equipment involved.

To learn more about event, please, contact the organizing committee: snitko@portnews.ru

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