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Council supports California Senate Joint Resolution 15, Harbor Maintenance Tax: Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund surplus

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  • Pacific Merchant Marine Council
    The Pacific Merchant Marine Council supports California Senate Joint Resolution 15, Harbor Maintenance Tax: Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund surplus. SRJ 15
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2011
    The Pacific Merchant Marine Council supports California Senate Joint Resolution 15, Harbor Maintenance Tax: Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund surplus.
     
    SRJ 15 pertains to House Resolution 104 (Realize America's Maritime Promise Act (RAMP), http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-104, and Senate Resolution 412, Harbor Maintenance Act of 2011, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.412.

    SJR 15 urges that the $5.6 billion surplus in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund be released to fund improvements at California ports, promote job creation, and support economic growth in California.

    The Port of Oakland's Press Release of Monday, October 3, 2011 below states the case as does SRJ 15 itself.
     
    Bill Text: CA Senate Joint Resolution 15 - 2011-2012 Regular ... BILL NUMBER: SJR 15 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Senators Mark DeSaulnier (D -Concord) and Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 Relative to Harbor Maintenance ... http://e-lobbyist.com/gaits/text/351754  The Legislative Digest describes the resolution:
     
    This measure would urge the President and the Congress of the United States to significantly increase federal funding from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund surplus for navigational improvements and continued operational and maintenance dredging in those federal channels that serve California's ports such that these expenditures equal the amounts contributed by California to halt adding to the surplus in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, and to recognize the role of California's ports in contributing the greatest share of the Harbor Maintenance Tax revenues. This measure would also memorialize the Legislature's support of efforts by California's congressional delegation to obtain an equitable share of all federal port and goods movement infrastructure funding and would encourage those representatives to support measures that will fund the security and facilitation of commercial activity at California's ports.
     
    SJR 15 can also be accessed at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html Search Term: “SJR 15.”
     
    Council Member Jim Haussener, Executive Director of the California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference (CMANC) can provide additional information if needed, (925) 828-6215.
     
    The council and its members are involved...
     
    Heave Ho,
     
    Phelps
    Phelps Hobart, President
    Pacific Merchant Marine Council
    Navy League of the United States
     

     

    From: Chris Peterson [mailto:cpeterson@...]
    Sent: Monday, October 03, 2011 11:11 AM
    Subject: Press Release - Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom Visits Port of Oakland (Urges Investment of Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund)

     

    P R E S S     R E L E A S E

     

    For Immediate Release                                           

     

    LT. GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM AND MARITIME INDUSTRY LEADERS DEMAND INVESTMENT OF FEDERAL FUNDS TO IMPROVE CALIFORNIA’S TRADE INFRASTRUCTURE, GROW JOBS AND THE ECONOMY

     

    $400 million in Taxes Are Collected from California Port Users Each Year For Improvements, But Money Remains Unspent

     

    Oakland, Calif. – September 30, 2011 –  Public officials and maritime industry leaders joined at the Port of Oakland to call on Congress to release funds collected from California’s port customers to improve maritime infrastructure, create jobs, and preserve California’s role as an international trade leader.

     

    “California’s future as a global leader depends on much needed job creation and economic growth.  Utilizing the federal Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund surplus doesn’t cost anyone a dime in new taxes, and it would immediately boost our trade competitiveness, invest in California’s infrastructure, and help to grow jobs on our waterfront, our farms and our manufacturing floors,” said Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, speaking against the backdrop of container cranes in the Port of Oakland’s Inner Harbor.

     

    Every year, California’s port customers pay more than $400 million in fees into a federal fund with assurances that the money will be available to fund the navigational maintenance and improvements necessary to keep U.S. ports competitive in a global marketplace. Unfortunately, the revenues deposited in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund are not being spent and, instead of investing these funds to keep our ports competitive, the Trust Fund has now built up a surplus of over $5 billion. 

     

    In an effort to see the money released, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA), the California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference (CMANC), the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), and the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) stood united in support of California Senate Joint Resolution 15, jointly authored by state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) and Sen. Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield). SJR 15 demands that the $5.6 billion surplus in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund be released immediately to fund improvements at California ports, promote job creation, and support economic growth in California.

     

    “The Californians calling on the federal government to release Harbor Maintenance funds aren’t just on the waterfront - in fact, agricultural exporters in the Central Valley are hurt when this money isn’t spent as promised,” said Sen. Fuller.  “These funds were collected for the purpose of making the necessary infrastructure improvements and by seeing that the funds are spent on those improvements, we can ensure that California’s ports are among the most competitive in the world.   Having competitive ports will help ensure that every part of California once again has a thriving economy.”

     

    California’s three largest ports contribute an estimated $40 billion per year to national economic output and are responsible for an estimated 1.6 million jobs across the country.  To move goods, these ports depend on properly dredged channels, without which California’s international trade, including agricultural and manufactured exports, cannot be shipped in the most reliable, timely and efficient manner – resulting in increased costs for waterborne transportation users and consumers, increased air emissions and fewer jobs.

     

    Fees paid by customers of California’s public ports generate approximately 30% of the Harbor Maintenance Tax revenues which are collected from shippers at approximately 200 ports and harbors across the United States.  However, from fiscal years 2005 to 2008, California received only about 4% of the total revenue collected.  The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, two of the nation’s largest container ports, currently receive less than a penny in benefits per dollar generated.

     

    “California is facing the toughest job crisis since the Great Depression, so we need to make sure that federal investment in our trade infrastructure is a top priority,” said Sen. DeSaulnier. “This important resolution calls on Congress to release funds to our California ports in order to maintain their leadership role in international trade, and to create crucial job opportunities around our nation when we need them the most.”

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    MEDIA CONTACTS:

    Francisco Castillo, Office of Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, (916) 445-8994

    Robert Bernardo, Port of Oakland Media Office, (510) 627-1401         

    Jim Haussener, CMANC, (925) 828-6215

     

    Chris Peterson

    Chief Wharfinger

    Port of Oakland

    Off: 510-627-1308

    Cell: 510-719-8024

     

     

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