February 12, 2007
"Alaska depends heavily on goods shipped through ports in Washington State, which has long been a gateway to our state," Thomas said. "Many people do not realize Alaska is the Puget Sound's fifth largest trading partner. The close economic connection between our two states is responsible for at least 103,500 jobs and over $4 billion in commerce.
The Washington State Senate is currently considering Senate Bill 5207, which would impose a $50 fee per 20-foot equivalents for shipping containers. The standard container length is 40 feet. The state's Senate is moving the legislation because of what the bill states as "a need to mitigate the enormous burden imposed on the state transportation system by the overland movement of cargo shipped to and from Washington State ports." The fee will be imposed on marine terminal operators, who will be allowed to keep 10% of the fee as compensation for accounting costs, leaving 90% for spending on state port infrastructure improvements.
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