Cargo fee at Port of Long Beach

As the Press Telegramm reports, next year cargo owners may have to pay a fee designed to fund infrastructure projects at the Port of Long Beach. The amount of the fee has not been determined yet.

In January 2008, harbor commissioners at Long Beach and Los Angeles first approved an Infrastructure Cargo Fee charging cargo owners $15 per container unit starting Jan. 1, 2009. The fee was later reduced to $6 per container and postponed until July 1, 2009.

Since then, the fee has been postponed over the years and never enforced because of the economic downturn and other reasons. In September, the Port of Los Angeles decided to repeal the fee.

This week harbor leaders lacked the votes needed to repeal a long-postponed Infrastructure Cargo Fee to be charged to cargo owners beginning Jan. 1, 2014.  Only two of the four Long Beach Harbor Commissioners present at Monday’s meeting — Commissioners Nick Sramek and Susan E. Anderson Wise — supported the repeal of a fee approved by the board in 2008 to support infrastructure projects.

Commissioners Rich Dines and Doug Drummond opposed the repeal and instead suggested postponing the fee to 2016. Board President Thomas Fields, who was overseas on behalf of the port, was absent.

Sramek and Wise said repealing the fee would remove a competitive disadvantage of having something on the books that the port is even not collecting on.

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