JUNEAU, Alaska – Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has signed a bill lowering the state’s tax on cruise ship passengers, a move intended to attract more ships and settle an industry lawsuit over the fee.
The Alaska Cruise Association has blamed the tax and state regulatory climate for the loss this season of three ships and an estimated 140,000 passengers.
The loss is expected to compound the financial hit many small tourist-related businesses took last year amid the slumping national economy
The legislation lowers the head tax from $46 to $34.50 and allows deeper offsets for ships stopping in at least one of two popular state ports. In exchange, it calls for the lawsuits’ dismissal and seeks commitments from the industry that it will send up more ships.