Marine port and waterway operators could gain new spending power to buy cargo handling equipment, according to the terms of a bipartisan bill that would extend tax incentives for related purchases.
In support of the legislation, trade group the National Association of Waterfront Employers (NAWE) said yesterday it applauds the introduction of H.R. 4993 by U.S. Reps. Mike Ezell (R-Miss.) and Troy Carter (D-La.). The bill’s intent is listed as “To amend title 46, United States Code, to include the replacement or purchase of additional cargo handling equipment as an eligible purpose for Capital Construction Funds, and for other purposes.”
According to NAWE, the bill would expand eligibility to allow funds deposited in a Capital Construction Fund (CCF) to acquire cargo handling equipment (CHE). The proposed bill would allow Marine Terminal Operators (MTOs) to deposit a portion of their taxable operating income into a CCF account and use those funds on a tax deferred basis to maximize purchasing power for zero and near-zero [emissions] cargo handling equipment. The program’s goal would be to maximize private capital investments aimed at lowering emissions at ports and waterways, advance innovative technologies in domestic manufacturing, and create new high skilled job opportunities for American workers, the group said.
The bill would expand the traditional role of the CCF program, which has played a crucial role for 50 years in financing the construction of various commercial vessels engaged in the U.S. international and limited domestic trades, NAWE said. Last year, Congress expanded the use of CCFs to make eligible the acquisition, construction or reconstruction of vessels engaged in the U.S. coastwise trade, including all classes of vessels working in the domestic oil and gas industry and tugs and barges engaged in the transportation of U.S. agricultural cargoes on America’s inland waterways.
NAWE’s member companies include privately owned stevedores, marine terminal operators, and other waterfront related employers who do business at U.S. ports on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, Canada, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.