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Old 08-24-2006, 07:03 AM   #1
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The cruise line industry has itself to blame for this one, having made crucial environment mistakes year after year, and to some extent thumbing their nose at Alaska authorities in the past. Personally I find some of the provisions passed, outrageous, such as disclosing the markup the cruise lines charge for shore excursions.

I'm wondering if the cruise lines aren't already thinking of ways to maximize their cruising outside the 12 mile limit of Alaska state waters to avoid the casino tax. There are many places in the "Inside Passage" they will continue to cruise inside the 12 mile limit, but there are opportunities to stay outside the limit as well.

I have no doubt many of the provisions of the new state law will be in the courts for years.

Quote:
Originally posted by Travel Weekly by Johanna Jainchill - August 23 2006
Alaskans approve cruise ship tax initiative

With 87% of votes counted as of Aug. 23, Alaskans appear to have narrowly approved Ballot Measure 2, or the cruise tax initiative that will place a $50 head tax on cruise passengers in Alaska, in addition to a laundry list of other taxes and regulations.

With 382 of 439 precincts reporting, 53% voted yes, while 48% said no, a difference of about 6,000 votes. The remaining votes should be reported by the end of the week.

In addition to the passenger head tax, cruise lines will also be subject to a 33% tax on casino profits and an income tax on marine revenue; the lines will have to disclose the markup they charge passengers for local shore excursions; and will have an "ocean ranger" onboard while in Alaska waters to make sure the ship complies with new environmental regulations.

Wording in the initiative indicates that the new rules will take affect within 90 days of the vote's certification, which will be after the cruise season has ended. Parts of the initiative are likely to be battled in court.

"We will look very closely and see which parts are challengeable," said Dave Worrell, communications director for the Alaska Travel Industry Association. "There are plenty of grounds on several different components of this measure that give us great concern and that's why we worked so hard against it..."

...He said that the non-tax portion of the initiative would likely be challenged in court, and that the head tax would not be enough to hurt demand.
Go to Alaskans approve cruise ship tax initiative to view the entire article.
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Old 08-24-2006, 03:29 PM   #2
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Ned @ Aug 24 2006, 08:03 AM) [snapback]35373[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
The cruise line industry has itself to blame for this one, having made crucial environment mistakes year after year, and to some extent thumbing their nose at Alaska authorities in the past. Personally I find some of the provisions passed, outrageous, such as disclosing the markup the cruise lines charge for shore excursions.

I'm wondering if the cruise lines aren't already thinking of ways to maximize their cruising outside the 12 mile limit of Alaska state waters to avoid the casino tax. There are many places in the "Inside Passage" they will continue to cruise inside the 12 mile limit, but there are opportunities to stay outside the limit as well.

I have no doubt many of the provisions of the new state law will be in the courts for years.
Go to Alaskans approve cruise ship tax initiative to view the entire article.
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Old 08-24-2006, 04:06 PM   #3
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To whom does the cruise line have to report the markup of shore excursions? The article is vague on this and this issue is ridiculous. Everyone wants the piece of the tourist dollar and at some point tourists will walk with their dollars to another destination.

I do not know if this is still the case, but back in 1990, NY City charged 22% tax on room rates over $100.00. I refused to pay it and was going to stay outside the city when I found a rate of $99.00 a night at the Sheraton. The tax rate for rooms below the $100 a night rate was 17%. We all have our wince point.

In our area, which is the CA wine country, almost every election brings a local measure to tax the tourist. I hear it from my clients all the time about the extra cost to a rental car or hotel room. I have clients who have paid more in taxes on their rental car than what the rental rate was. With airline taxes and surcharges going up, too, we could(should?) see a tourist revolt
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