Alaska proposes to offset municipal cruise taxes

By Johanna Jainchill

Alaska could end up reducing its cruise passenger head tax from $46 to $19.50 on itineraries that include Juneau and Ketchikan, according to a final bill that Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell submitted to the state's legislature on Thursday.

The 59% cut would more than double the 25% reduction that Parnell proposed last week.

The additional reduction in the state head tax comes from a provision that offsets municipal head taxes. Juneau and Ketchikan levy cruise head taxes of $8 and $7, respectively.

If the bill passes, passengers on cruises calling in Juneau and Ketchikan would pay a $19.50 head tax. (The 25% reduction would reduce the current $46 tax to $34.50, plus local head taxes totaling $15 would be offset.)

"Alaska’s tourism head tax structure must be modified to grow our Alaska businesses," Parnell said on the governor's website.

"Declining visitor numbers and dollars have been felt throughout the state. We must do more to make Alaska a more affordable destination for travelers and create jobs for Alaskans."

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