Cruise ship rebate goes back to Senate Judiciary Committee

Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2007

Prospects look dim for a bill designed to credit cruise ship passengers for local head taxes.

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The measure, which was introduced in the Senate Finance Committee last week, was pulled from the Senate floor on Wednesday and sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate Finance Chairman Hollis French, D-Anchorage, said he had questions about the constitutionality of the measure, but with the session quickly drawing to a close, a hearing on the bill was unlikely.

A similar measure in the House has not had a committee hearing yet. The session ends next Wednesday.

The bill would cap a voter-approved $50 passenger head tax so that local head taxes - like Juneau's $8 a head tax or Ketchikan's $7 tax - would count as a credit against the state's.

It was one of several measures that would have modified aspects of the cruise ship initiative that voters passed last August.

A bill seeking to change aspects of the ocean ranger program was rejected on the House Floor Tuesday. The House did pass a measure that a provision that requires on board commissions be disclosed.

That measure is headed to the Senate.

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