My funding plan will not add to the deficit , nor impose or raise any tax or fees that would deter industry and commerce. My plan will lower taxes, create jobs, and stimulate industry and commerce. I would eliminate the Harbor Maintenance Tax ( HMT ). This would encourage more cargo shipping and pay for both harbor maintenance and coastal preservation with new tariff money generated.
Harbor maintenance, by dredging, has always been the federal government's responsibility and was paid for out of general revenues until 1986 when the HMT was imposed on cargo in seaports. HMT was intended to pay for harbor dredging. Tripled in 1990, the tax adds costs ( hundreds of dollars/container of cargo) to shippers. Elimination of the HMT lowers cost to shippers. Lower cost encourages shipping of more cargo. More cargo means more revenue from tariffs already in place.
If elimination of HMT resulted in even a 1% increase of cargo shipping, tariff collection on that 1% would pay the current $1.3 billion required for harbor maintenence. If cargo increased 2%, a surplus revenue of $1.3 billion annually could be directed to coastal preservation and meet all of the $50 million funding needed over the next 50 yrs as projected in Louisiana's 2012 Coastal Master Plan. More cargo also means more commerce and more jobs to handle cargo. This economic activity generates even more revenue in other taxes. The portion of a fuel tax that supports the current inadequate funding could also be eliminated.
Congressmen are distracted from their coastal erosion and other local funding responsibilities by constantly soliciting donations to "fund" their next campaign. I accept no campaign contributions and spend none of my own money on a campaign so that when I serve in Congress I will solve important funding and budget issues with no distraction.