From the Document: "As Congress deliberates on authorization legislation for Army Corps of Engineers water resource projects (House-passed H.R. 7575, Senate-reported S. 3591), it is considering how to direct the use of funding available for harbor maintenance. [...] The policy choices offered by these bills will have consequences for navigation efficiency and safety, recreation uses, and the levels of state and private investment in port infrastructure. They may also affect competition among U.S. ports to capture import and export cargo and the associated logistics-industry jobs. At the center of these policy decisions is the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF), created by Congress in 1986 and funded primarily by receipts from a tax on importers of waterborne cargo (assessed at a rate of $1.25 per $1,000 worth of cargo).In FY2019, harbor maintenance tax collections totaled $1.6 billion, investment earnings totaled $214 million, and expenditures from the fund through annual appropriations totaled $1.6 billion. The amount of maintenance required to keep channels open varies considerably among harbors. Some of the ports that draw large flows of imports, and therefore generate a large portion of harbor maintenance tax revenue, are naturally deep and require relatively little maintenance dredging. While channels at other major commercial ports are generally adequately maintained, some harbors with lower volumes of commercial cargo have maintenance backlogs, potentially affecting fishing and recreational boat traffic."
CRS In Focus, IF11645
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/