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Alaska Cruise Tax Apparently Approved, Some Votes Still to be Counted

August 23, 2006 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent

According to the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska voters appeared to narrowly approve a ballot measure Tuesday that places a $50-per-passenger cruise tax. All votes have yet to be counted. As of press time, 382 of the 439 voting precincts were counted with 52.4 percent voting for it and 47.6 percent voting against it. With nearly 1 million cruise visitors to Alaska every year, the measure would raise $50 million in head taxes alone. The measure had a slight lead in the polls, despite a $1 million campaign to defeat it. Voters appeared to overwhelmingly endorse another ballot measure that would tighten campaign finance and lobbying rules. As was the case with tax measure, votes from 382 of 439 precincts were recorded at press time with 73.8 percent of the vote endorsing the measure and 26.2 percent voting it down. Besides imposing the head tax, the cruise-ship ballot measure would tighten environmental standards, levy a corporate income tax and a gambling-profits tax and require disclosures by cruise ships of payments received for steering passengers to land-based businesses the ships promote.

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