$50 passenger head tax is a big deal

Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009

In response to Gershon Cohen's letter in the May 12 edition of the Juneau Empire, I respectfully disagree. The economic downturn is worldwide and not limited to Southeast Alaska.

What he and his fellow initiative sponsor Joe Geldhof fail to recognize is that we compete with other cruise destinations. When cruises to Southeast are selling for $299, the extra $50 head tax does indeed become a big deal. Quite simply, when cruise shoppers become more price sensitive because of economic conditions, the head tax makes us non-competitive with other options. If that were not the case, the ships would not have been re-deployed.

Yes, the head tax is driving ships from Southeast and the result will be lost jobs, lost revenue to local businesses, lost tax revenue for local governments and fewer cruise ships, which I believe is what the sponsors wanted all along.

Allen Shattuck


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