Head tax revision goes against Alaska voters' wishes

Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On April 19, a Juneau Empire My Turn by Jack Cadigan laid out all the many reasons why a governor-legislative cruise ship head tax revision was a great win-win for both big and little tourism entrepreneurs - in spite of the fact it actually went totally against the honest wishes of the people of Alaska who had voted to enforce a cruise ship head tax back in 2006.

Cadigan says this initiative was "narrowly approved by 52 percent," but the last time I checked, that was very definitely a democratic majority, so forget about it already? Cadigan further states this tax revenue was erroneously thought to be free money to be spent by voters, but holy cow, what else could it be for?

Cadigan then proceeds to laud our tea-party darling and hastily resigned governor for her rejection of head-tax revenue, while he argues that this head-tax is plainly "discriminatory." He would contend by witness that incensed boat-loads of whale-chasing vacationers chant hypnotic mantras of "anti-tourist" and "greedy" as they chase after and cruise in on foundering flukes and blow-hole-spouts. Now, I have to ask you folks how natural and truly appreciative is that? Totally awesome, huh?

Cadigan continues by playing that old-corporate-saw: "We'll pick-up our toys and go home if you don't give us what we want" and then we'll sue the fur-lined pants off you to boot. And those threats are driving tourists away by the cruise-ships-full, so we're pulling our ships from rainy old Alaska and heading to much sunnier shores. So give us what we want and we'll, well, we won't promise you anything at all, but you can't possibly refuse our offer. Well, forget about it already.

Cadigan then goes on to pin down his rather free-wheeling and enterprising karma by proclaiming: "Any business entity, large or small, must pass expenses on to the customer." I say to that, damn straight, for it's whatever customer traffic will bear and the bottom-line entrepreneurial profit-margin that really counts right up here in the great land, and that pretty much brings us back to why the people of Alaska voted four years ago for a cruise ship head-tax. But this session it's apparent that neither the governor nor the legislature wanted to hear the Carville-Clinton campaign slogan of 1992: "It's the economy, stupid."

Alan R. Munro


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