Alaskans to Vote on Cruise Ship Tax

Supreme court refuses to block initiative: cruise ship companies are thwarted in attempt to block public from voting on new controls


Eric Jorgensen, Earthjustice, (907) 586-2751

The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that a statewide initiative that would impose permitting and reporting requirements for discharges of wastewater from cruise ships into state marine waters and authorize citizen enforcement actions can be added to the statewide ballot in August. The initiative  would also impose a $50-a-head tax and a new 33 percent tax on revenues earned from gambling while the ships are in state waters to help ports-of-call cope with the nearly million passengers that visit annually on the ships. The North West CruiseShip Association and eleven other groups had challenged the initiative in state court, arguing that signatures were improperly gathered.

Earthjustice supported the validity of the petitions via a friend of the court brief submitted to the Alaska Supreme Court on behalf of Alaska Center for the Environment, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, Alaska Public Interest Research Group, Cook Inlet Keeper, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, and Responsible Cruising in Alaska.                   

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