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Great Lakes Group Welcomes Legislation

Glen K. Nekvasil of the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force issued the following statement regarding legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate last week:

"Ships working the Great Lakes won’t leave port with their cargo holds less than full once Congress passes legislation introduced in the Senate last week. A bill would require the government to stop diverting the taxes it collects for dredging to paper balance the federal budget and instead spend them for their intended purpose - maintaining the nation’s deep-draft ports and waterways.

"Introduced by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), and co-sponsored by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and others, S. 3213 requires the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (“HMTF”) to spend what it takes in each year. The United States levies a tax on cargo moving through deep-draft ports to pay for dredging nationwide that generates significant funds, as much as $1.6 billion per year. However, annual expenditures are less than $800 million. As a result, the fund has a surplus of nearly $5 billion."

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