Voters in Alaska appear to have approved a ballot initiative that will implement a $50 cruise ship head tax, among other cruise industry-related measures.
With 87 percent of the state's precincts reporting, voters by a 6,000-vote margin were poised to pass the initiative. If the results hold, passengers seeing Alaska via cruise ships will have to pay a $50 fee.
The ballot initiative also subjects cruise lines to state corporate income taxes, imposes a tax on gambling revenue of cruise ship casinos while operating off the Alaskan coast, requires ships to have “ocean rangers” on board to monitor wastewater emissions into Alaskan waters, and mandates that ships publish the financial arrangements they have with businesses in Alaskan ports of call.
The group Responsible Cruising in Alaska gathered more than 24,000 signatures to get the cruise tax initiative on the ballot, while the North West CruiseShip Association, whose members include Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International, led the opposition to the initiative.