by Christine Kim
Thursday, June 24, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Gov. Sean Parnell signed a cruise-ship passenger head tax reduction into law Thursday, in an effort to create economic growth for small businesses throughout Alaska. Under Senate Bill 312, the head tax drops from $46 to $35.50.
One focus of the Parnell administration has been on increasing visitor travel. The governor's office says over two years, Alaska has lost up to 5,000 jobs and more than $400 million in direct and indirect spending.
"Through this legislative session, it became very clear -- and even before, as I talked to small business owners around the state -- that what they needed was just for state government to basically step out of the way and create more opportunity," Parnell said.
The bill signing satisfies the state's part of an agreement for the Alaska Cruise Association to drop its lawsuit against the state.