JUNEAU, Alaska -- Alaska Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman denied certification of an initiative petition that would levy a $50 per person head tax on Alaska cruise passengers.

But supporters of the head tax said they promptly remedied sections of the proposal that were in question and Aug. 21 sent it back to the lieutenant governor for approval.

If it's certified, which attorney Joe Geldhof said he "hopes" will happen by early September, the environmental groups sponsoring the initiative would need to collect nearly 23,000 signatures.

Alaska legislators could then draft a bill based on the petition or the proposal would end up on the next statewide ballot.

The initiative, if adopted, would require ships to pay a $46 excise tax, plus a $4 per-passenger fee, to place an independent environmental inspector onboard each Alaska-bound ship.

To contact reporter Rebecca Tobin, send e-mail to [email protected].

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