SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


 Alaska Reps appointed to Washington committee
to work on container tax issue


June 25, 2007

Representatives Bill Thomas (R-Haines) and Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau) have been appointed to a Washington State committee to study the imposition of container fees which could have far-reaching economic impact on Alaska.
The Washington Joint Transportation Committee will evaluate the imposition of a fee on the processing of shipping containers, port-related user fees, and other funding mechanisms to improve freight corridors. Senate Bill 5207, introduced by Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen originally imposed a fee on freight containers being processed in Washington but was later changed to studying the issue.
During the 2007 regular session Thomas sponsored House Joint Resolution 8 opposing the enactment of the original version SB5207, and informing Washington State of the negative impacts a container fee would have on Alaska. Also during the regular session, Kerttula contacted Haugen by telephone and suggested Washington and Alaska work together to solve Washington's freight congestion problems.
"I believe there are solutions out there that can benefit everyone," Kerttula said. "Cooperation always produces better results than conflict. Senator Haugen introduced her bill as a way to draw attention to the problem, and I'm glad that we've been invited to be part of the solution."
"Alaska depends heavily on goods shipped through ports in Washington State. Any solution that Washington comes up with will greatly impact Alaskans." Thomas said. "I take this appointment seriously and will work to ensure that Alaska's concerns are heard and that Alaska is not harmed by any possible freight congestion solution."
House Speaker John Harris nominated Thomas and Kerttula to the committee, and the appointments were announced in a June 15th letter from Washington.


On the Web:

Information about SB5207


Source of News:

Office of Representative Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau) House Minority Leader

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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska