TAX CONFERENCE

The recently enacted "American Jobs Creation Act" gives significant tax breaks to a number of U.S. industries--including shipping.

MARINE LOG and BLANK ROME will present a senior level seminar CHANGES IN U.S. TAXATION OF SHIPPING INCOME in Stamford, Conn. on April 5 & 6, 2004

Make sure you know how the new tax rules work!

February 16, 2005

Wachtel takes over key NY Waterway routes

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersy and BillyBey Ferry Company LLC have reached a tentative agreement that will allow trans-Hudson ferry service to continue uninterrupted for the more than 15,000 commuters who use it each weekday, New York Governor George E. Pataki and New Jersey Acting Governor Richard J. Codey announced yesterday.

The agreement--subject to approval by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners at its February 24 meeting--calls for NY Waterway to assign its contract to operate ferry service between Hoboken and Lower Manhattan to BillyBey Ferry Company LLC. This new entity, which is solely owned by New York attorney William B. Wachtel, is required by the agreement to continue to operate routes in Jersey City previously operated by NY Waterway.

NY Waterway will continue to operate routes north of Hoboken, as well as in Belford, N.J., and Haverstraw, N.Y.

In addition, BillyBey Ferry Company LLC plans to add a new service this year from Hoboken to Pier A at the tip of Lower Manhattan.

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, "The Port Authority always has been an aggressive leader in providing the infrastructure and the necessary oversight to ensure that ferry service continues. We have invested or plan to invest more than $100 million in projects such as the Battery Park City ferry terminal and the restoration of the Hoboken ferry slips with the belief that our waterways will remain a viable way to transport people around the region."

William B. Wachtel, the owner of BillyBey Ferry Company LLC, said, "We are pleased to be part of this private-sector solution that is being facilitated by the Port Authority and officials of New York and New Jersey. The ferry system has grown to become an important, environmentally sensitive part of the region's transportation system. Upwards of 30,000 commuter trips are taken every workday, and the demise of the system would have created immediate and dramatic congestion problems at the Hudson River bridge and tunnel crossings."

Under the tentative agreement, BillyBey Ferry Company LLC will ensure the continuation of ferry services from Hoboken and various Jersey City locations.

In lieu of previous revenue obligations, which included $50,000 per month for ground rent, BillyBey Ferry Company LLC instead will pay the Port Authority a 10-cent-per-passenger fee for all Hoboken departures, a share of receipts from advertising and concession services, and third-party landing fees received for Battery Park City and Hoboken.

If a conditional five-year option is exercised, the passenger fee will escalate to 15 cents per passenger.

BillyBey Ferry Company LLC has agreed with NY Waterway to assume $19.1 million in Federal Maritime Administration loans for the 16 vessels that will be used on the Hoboken and Jersey City routes.

Under a separate agreement, BillyBey Ferry Company LLC will engage NY Waterway to provide personnel and manage and operate the Hoboken and Jersey City routes on its behalf.

We'll have further coverage in the next issue of FERRIES &: FAST CRAFT NEWS.

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