JUNEAU, Ala. -- A proposal to tax Alaska cruise passengers is back
on the table.
In his proposed fiscal year 2005 (beginning July 1) state
budget, Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski included several additional
sources of potential revenue, including a "transient bed tax" which
would apply to cruise passengers and is estimated to bring in $32
million; a tax ship-board gambling, estimated to generate $3
million; and a tax on shore-side guided tour activities, estimated
to raise $5 million.
Murkowski submitted the budget proposal to the state's
legislature Dec. 15.
The cruise industry's representative body in the region, the
North West CruiseShip Association, said it was still examining the
governor's budget proposal.
"We don't have the fine details yet," said John Hansen, the
association's president. "The accommodation tax ... there's a lot
of questions around the details of it, and whether it would extend
to hotels and so on."
Hansen said his organization would sit down with Alaska
lawmakers "soon," adding: "Our comment at this point is, basically,
to focus on the economic benefits we bring to the state, which is
on the order of $800 million a year."
To contact reporter Rebecca Tobin, send e-mail to [email protected].