Alaska tax challenged in court
JUNEAU, Alaska: According to the Alaska state attorney general on September 22, 2009, a court challenge would not shake the foundations of 2006 ballot measure that was enacted to impose a new $46 per voyage tax "on large cruise ships to pay for vessel services."However, it could change the way the state legislators spend revenue from the tax. The attorney general made his comments before the legislative session began, and after cruise ship operators filed a lawsuit hoping to ban the tax on September 18, 2009.
Cruise ship operators claim that the ballot measure is unconstitutional, citing a violation of prohibition against restraints on interstate commerce. According to the attorney general, "The economic benefits of the cruise ship industry to Alaska are clear, but so are the passenger impacts on the state. The 1 million visitors a year this industry brings is a huge influx in a short period of time. The state and local communities spend significant amounts of money to host these visitors."