by Becky Bohrer
The Associated Press
Friday, March 19, 2010
JUNEAU, Alaska -- Gov. Sean Parnell is proposing cutting the state head tax on cruise ship passengers from $46 to $34.50, to address industry concerns that the cost of doing business in Alaska is too high.
In exchange, Parnell says he'd seek public assurances that more ships would be deployed to the state.
Parnell made his comments Friday at a Resource Development Council meeting in Anchorage, after returning to the state from a cruise ship trade show in Florida.
The Alaska Cruise Association says three ships, accounting for roughly 142,000 passengers, won't come to Alaska this year. The group's president, John Binkley, blames the state's regulatory climate and tax costs for this. He says communities that rely on the tourism trade could take a noticeable economic hit as a result this summer.