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Alaska’s cruise passenger head tax could end up falling from to $46 to $19.50 on most inside passage itineraries, according to the final bill Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell submitted late last week.
The 59% reduction would more than double the 25% cut that Parnell proposed less than two weeks ago, because the new bill contains a provision to offset local head taxes in Juneau and Ketchikan, of $8 and $7, respectively.
In exchange for the tax cut the cruise lines have agreed to drop their collective lawsuit and send more ships to Alaska. The tax has generated $36 million for the state since it was voted into law by Alaskans in 2006.
This is good news for cruise passengers as the increased supply and lower tax should help keep the currently discounted prices low. The effects of the tax has been estimated to reduce passengers disembarking out of Vancouver from 900,000 to 600,000.
Vancouver is hoping to capitalize on the Olympic buzz and this may be a fortunate turn of events for them. We boarded our Alaskan cruise from Vancouver and we were very impressed with the city albeit our visit was short. I would definitely recommend starting in Vancouver.