Ketchikan borough advances cruise ship head tax

Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2003

KETCHIKAN (AP) Cruise ship customers would pay a $5 head tax under a proposed ordinance advanced Monday by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly.

The measure now faces a public hearing and final consideration by the assembly.

The ordinance originally called for a $10 per person tax. Assemblyman Jack Shay, the former borough mayor, successfully argued to halve that. A $10 tax would bring in an estimated $7.5 million annually.

''I don't think we have any justification for $7.5 million a year,'' Shay said.

Shay then opposed advancing the $5 head tax. He said the visitor industry already contributes money through property and sales taxes.

The measure advanced 4-3, with Mayor Mike Salazar breaking a 3-3 tie.

The assembly is to hold a public hearing and take final action on the head tax ordinance Aug. 18.

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