Association of Port Authorities Addresses Harbor Maintenance Tax Problems

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), together with 100 supporting U.S. ports and other organizations, delivered a letter to House and Senate leadership on June 26, urging them to enact a comprehensive solution to fix the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT).

The HMT is paid by shippers to maintain U.S. harbors. However, the group argues that full use of this tax has not yet been achieved and is not guaranteed in the future.

In the letter to Congressional leadership, AAPA proposed a solution to provide both full use of annual HMT revenues, and to address tax fairness issues. AAPA 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, the maintenance of ports would be the highest priority with protections put in place to address small port and regional port needs.

AAPA represents 130 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 200 members with an interest in seaports.

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The group is holding its 108th Annual Convention and Expo from October 13 to 16 at the Port of Virginia in Norfolk.

The three-day business program features industry leaders and subject matter experts focusing on topics ranging from ports as economic development engines, to technology and big data, cargo transportation efficiency, trade policy, emergency response and cybersecurity.

More information about AAPA’s 108th Annual Convention and Expo, is available here.