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How should port dredging be financed, by a tax or user fee? The U.S. tax and proposed Clinton Administration national user fee programs for financing port dredging costs are reviewed. Rather than the former, a port-specific user dredging fee is proposed that satisfies the criteria: 1) the revenue from the fees should cover the dredging costs – no more, no less, 2) all vessels of the same type and size that use a given dredged waterway should pay the same fee and 3) the fee for a given type and size of vessel should not exceed its standalone dredging cost, thereby promoting cost efficiency in dredging. Further, theoretical support is provided for non-users who benefit from dredged waterways and vessel cargo to be involved in the financing of port dredging costs.


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