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].


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