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TO MEMORIALIZE THE SOUTH CAROLINA CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO SUPPORT H.R. 355 AND S. 218 TO ENSURE THAT HARBOR MAINTENANCE TRUST FUND REVENUES ARE APPROPRIATED IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO REVENUE COLLECTED, AND USED FOR ITS INTENDED PURPOSE OF DREDGING AND MAINTAINING OUR NATION'S WATERWAYS.
Whereas, the Port of Georgetown is one of two public ports located on the eastern coast of South Carolina; and
Whereas, recent studies indicate Georgetown County's Port to be a viable asset offering opportunities in substantially boosting regional economic development efforts, and in stimulating the economic vitality of the State of South Carolina; and
Whereas, Georgetown County's Port is a completely underutilized commodity, however attempts to attract new industry and market the facility are completely futile until the harbor channel is deepened to the congressionally authorized depth of 27 feet, which is critical to meet demands for world trade port services; and
Whereas, the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) was established in 1986 to fund the maintenance of ports and harbors, and is funded by the Harbor Maintenance Tax; and
Whereas, sufficient harbor maintenance tax is collected each year to meet all of the nation's authorized harbor needs, but only a little more than half is appropriated for harbor maintenance; and
Whereas, appropriations from the HMTF, which are used by the Army Corps of Engineers for maintenance and dredging, have lagged behind revenues into the HMTF for several years resulting in a reported multimillion dollar surplus, which continues to grow by hundreds of millions of dollars each year; and
Whereas, inadequate appropriations from the HMTF have resulted in shipping navigation channels becoming narrower and shallower due to sediment accumulation; and
Whereas, inadequate channel depths prohibit vessels from transporting the amount of American made goods they are capable of carrying, which ultimately eliminates the creation of American jobs. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the members of the South Carolina General Assembly, by this resolution, respectfully memorialize the South Carolina Congressional Delegation to support H.R. 355 and S. 218 to ensure that harbor maintenance trust fund revenues are appropriated in the amount equal to revenue collected, and used for its intended purpose of dredging and maintaining our nation's waterways; and
Be it further resolved that a copy of this concurrent resolution be forwarded to each member of the South Carolina Congressional Delegation.
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