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.|!|