JUNEAU - The Alaska Cruise Association has dropped its lawsuit against the state over a cruise ship passenger tax.
The development wasn't unexpected. The state and industry reached a settlement agreement in April calling for the lawsuit's dismissal if the Legislature passed, and Gov. Sean Parnell signed, a tax cut.
The bill passed by lawmakers cuts the head tax from $46 to $34.50 and allows deeper offsets for ships stopping in at least one of two ports. It was signed by Parnell last week, and hailed as both as a way to settle the litigation and attract more ships and tourists.
The cruise association had placed at least partial blame on the tax and Alaska's regulatory climate for an expected loss of ships, and about 140,000 passengers, this season.