The Alaska State Legislature is considering a bill that would amend the cruise ship head tax that Alaska's citizens voted into law in 2006.

Senate Bill 168, which reached the Senate floor this week, would protect passengers from multiple head taxes, effectively capping the charge at $50 per passenger. The state's head tax is $50 but some municipalities, including Juneau and Ketchikan, charge their own passenger tax, said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) of the Senate Finance Committee.

"If other port communities impose their own municipal fees, the total taxes a passenger pays will obviously grow," said the Senate Finance Committee in a statement about the bill. "Although it is difficult to quantify, at some point these municipal passenger fees stacked on top of the state head tax could reduce travel to Alaska or decrease the amount cruise passengers spend once they arrive."

The committee said the bill would entitle cruise passengers to a "dollar-for-dollar credit equal to the lesser of $10 or the actual amount of any similar tax the passenger paid at any of the ship's first five ports of call."

To contact reporter Johanna Jainchill, send e-mail to [email protected].

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