TACOMA, WASHINGTON, U.S. — Port of Tacoma commissioners on Sept. 17 said they support a bill introduced by U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to reform the harbor maintenance tax.

The commissioners said that the Maritime Goods Movement Act changes U.S. tax code to ensure it does not disadvantage American ports, as the current system does. It also calls for all the money collected to be spent on port infrastructure, including maintenance dredging and such additional uses as transportation infrastructure for donor ports, like Tacoma, Washington, U.S., with naturally deep water.

“The U.S. tax code has put Puget Sound ports at a competitive disadvantage relative to other ports in North America for nearly three decades,” commissioners wrote in a letter to the senators. “Ports like ours receive little-to-no benefit from the tax, which in fact is used to maintain competing harbors located elsewhere in the United States.”

The commissioners recognized the senators for “demonstrating a commitment to jobs both in Washington state as well as throughout the U.S.”

Learn more about the bill here.