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Seattle and Tacoma ports receive $54.1M as part of unlocked federal funding

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(The Center Square) – The Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma are receiving a combined $54.1 million as part of newly unlocked federal funding.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. announced that she was able to secure $25.2 million for the Port of Seattle and $28.9 million for the Port of Tacoma as part of the Army Corps of Engineers work plan for the 2024 fiscal year.

The majority of the combined $54.1 million in funds stems from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund that was modified in 2020 to distribute tax dollars to ports across the country. This year marks the first time this change to the fund is being implemented.

According to a news release from Murray’s office, the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund changes were meant to be implemented in the 2023 fiscal year, but the Army Corps of Engineers’ work plan failed to implement the fund in 2023.

Murray wrote provisions into the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill that specify the distribution of 12% in funding for ports this year in response. Murray serves as the chair of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee.

“This has been a long-fought battle but it is nothing short of a sea change when it comes to annual funding for the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma,” Murray said in a statement “Not only are we bringing home over $50 million dollars for Seattle and Tacoma this year, but the HMTF change is permanent.”

Prior to the changes to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, the Seattle Port received $12.9 million from the fund over 10 years. That is 72.7% less than the $22.3 million it is receiving from the fund this year.

As for the Tacoma Port, it received $2 million over 10 years prior to the changes to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. The $25.6 million it is receiving from the fund this year is a whopping 1178% increase from what it received previously, according to data shared by Murray’s office.

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