Capstone Title

User Fees - A Survey and Assessment Among Six Major Deep Water Ports in Florida

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management

First Advisor



Ports, like other governmental agencies, must generate revenues in order to defray operational expenses. With increasing concerns over insurance costs, liability issues, and budgetary constraints, several United States ports have implemented various types of user's fees or special services fees in order to defray the cost of supplying special port services.

Ports operate under individual tariffs which govern the implementation of fees. The tariffs are reviewed by the Federal Maritime Commission to assure all fees are equitable for all port users unless they are under a special contractual agreement with the port. Differences, however, may arise in the methods individual ports use to generate and collect these fees and/or funds from port users.

Literature and interviews with various officials from six deep water ports in Florida have been used to evaluate their means of funding special services such as police protection (security), fire protection, and utilities. The ports examined in this study are: Port Everglades, and the Ports of Miami, Palm Beach, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Fernandina.

In order to understand the diversity between the six ports authorities, a profile of port characteristics is necessary. These include: the physical structure, the nature of operations, the structure of the governing body, and the method of providing and/or supplying special services.

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