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Washington State Shipping Tax Will Hurt Alaskans


February 12, 2007
Monday PM

Representative Bill Thomas (R- Haines) is worried that his colleagues in the Washington State Legislature will adversely impact Southeast Alaska with a measure to impose a $100 fee on marine terminal operators who ship containers from the state. By sponsoring House Joint Resolution 8 (HJR 8), Thomas is putting in writing what he and fellow members of the House of Representatives regard as an unnecessary "nuisance tax" that could pass an undue burden onto Alaskans.

"Shipping fees in Alaska are already sky-high. The real losers in this legislation are the consumers, and in our case, we Alaskans."
Rep. Bill Thomas

"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.


Source of News:

Office of Rep. Bill Thomas

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