Board to Consider Cargo Fee Postponement
Proposal would delay $15 charge for an additional year
April 2, 2009
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners at its meeting Monday, April 20, will consider an additional one-year postponement of a cargo fee that would fund transportation projects in the harbor area.
The "Infrastructure Cargo Fee" -- which the Commission previously delayed from January 1, 2009 to July 1, 2009 -- would be deferred at least until July 1, 2010 under the new proposal. The fee's amount would vary each year, but is expected to be about $15 for each twenty-foot cargo container, and $30 for larger shipping containers.
"In light of the economic realities and the shipping industry's need to establish their rates for their coming fiscal year, it makes sense to consider pushing back the Infrastructure Cargo Fee," said Richard D. Steinke, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach.
If the postponement is approved, the Commission will revisit the need for the fee again, before the new deadline.
The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles established the fee at a joint meeting in January 2008 to generate funds to help finance several major transportation improvements in the harbor, including bridges, rail projects and freeway connectors.
Several factors contributed to the Port of Long Beach staff's recommendation for an additional one-year delay: the uncertain economy and the challenges faced by the shipping industry; likely further delay in the availability of state Proposition 1B funds; and additional time needed to obtain approvals and complete other preparations before many transportation projects can begin.