Lowenthal to forge ahead with statewide container tax
A California State Senator, encouraged by a container tax passed by the Southern California ports last week, is promising to push forward with his own statewide container tax bill.
In a letter to the editors of the Long Beach Press-Telegram, Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, responded to a recent editorial on the Southern California ports' container tax, saying, 'I am excited by the ports' progress and commend them for moving forward, even in the face of opposition from their own customers. However, I do not contemplate dropping my container fee legislation.'
Lowenthal has twice before failed to implement a statewide container tax and shelved his third version of the tax bill last year after facing a veto from Gov. Arnold Shwarzenegger.
The governor, who also refused to sign Lowenthal's second attempt to pass the $30-per-TEU tax on containers moving through the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland, stated early last week that he now supports Lowenthal's bill.
The Lowenthal tax is expected to raise nearly $500 million a year for infrastructure and air quality measures in the port areas.
The tax would be in addition to the Southern California ports' container tax approved by the ports' governing bodies last week. The ports' plan to implement a $35-per-TEU tax on all loaded containers moving through their terminals will start June 1, 2008. ' Keith Higginbotham