California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a plan to add a $60 fee on containers moving through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, bowing to concerns of shippers and transportation providers about state-led efforts to generate more tax revenue from freight movements.
“The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the source of imported goods that are sold across the nation,” said Tracy Mullin, president & CEO of the National Retail Foundation, an industry-lobbying group. “This fee would have amounted to a tax that would have driven up the price of consumer goods in virtually every state, not just California.”
Though Mullin stressed that retailers and other shippers support efforts to improve port security, clean up pollution and enhance port infrastructure, fees such as this one would force them to look for other ports outside the state of California to handle their freight.
The $60 fee on each 40-ft. container (or the equivalent number of other size containers) moving through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach would have generated $500 million a year for the state’s coffers, according to research by forecasting and analysis firm Global Insight.