Leman turns down cruise ship initiative

Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) A proposed ballot initiative to impose taxes and stringent regulations on cruise ships traveling in Alaska waters was rejected Tuesday by Lt. Gov. Loren Leman.

The move was expected after Attorney General Greg Renkes recommended against approving the initiative last week in a memo to Leman.

Renkes said the measure violated the so-called ''single subject rule,'' a state prohibition against legislation on varied topics.

It could also create a conflict with federal law and a state constitutional provision against dedicated funds, Renkes said.

Sponsors of the initiative needed Leman's certification to begin gathering signatures to put the issue on the 2004 ballot.

One of the initiative sponsors, maritime union attorney Joe Geldhof, said last week the group plans to review the attorney general's recommendation, fix the flaws in the proposal and resubmit it.

The proposed ballot measure would have imposed a $50 tax for each cruise ship passenger and a 33 percent tax on shipboard gambling income.

It also proposed making the industry subject to the state's corporate income tax and forcing more stringent environmental and commercial rules on cruise ships in Alaska.

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