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View Full Version : It's Official: Cruise Lines Drop Alaska Lawsuit Over Head Tax


LauraS
July 7th, 2010, 09:00 AM
Cruise Critic has just posted the following news:

It's Official: Cruise Lines Drop Alaska Lawsuit Over Head Tax

Read the entire news article... (http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=3977)

Cruise Cat
July 7th, 2010, 09:31 PM
As stated when they imposed it - The heck with them, I am never cruising to the greedy state of Alaska again!

greatam
July 10th, 2010, 03:52 PM
As stated when they imposed it - The heck with them, I am never cruising to the greedy state of Alaska again!

So you are telling me that you want the people of Alaska to SUPPORT your port activities???

SOOOOO many people do not realize that Alaska and THE PEOPLE OF ALASKA DO NOT get very much money from the cruise ships. OVER 70% of the seasonal workers are from the lower 48-NO STATE income tax in Alaska, so no money from the people who drive the buses, take you on tours, clean your Princess lodge or serve you food.

Same thing in the ports and the shops-a lot of the workers are "imported" AND a lot of the shops/tours/buses are owned by OUT OF STATE corporations, so their tax liability is very limited. EVEN such a thing as road tax and vehicle license fees-all those Princess and Holland America buses you see in Alaska-they are running on IRP (International Reciprocity Plan) license plates. Meaning they give a VERY small proportion of their license fee registration money to the State of Alaska.

I run my semi trucks up to Alaska every summer to haul fish out of there. I pay VERY little in road tax, an even smaller amount in license fees (my trailers are all plated in Oklahoma, the cheapest state and tractors are primarily plated in Missouri which is in the middle as far as fees). I buy fuel in Alaska and after I deduct all the federal taxes, Alaska still gets less per mile than NY or Arizona. That is a RIP to the State of Alaska. Same as the cruise ship "donations". I do own a condo in Homer but am simply incensed that cruise passengers seem to think that the Alaska people should pick up the costs for Alaska port visits.

I certainly don't expect the people of Alaska to subsidize my business. You should not expect them to subsidize your port visits.

smeyer418
July 10th, 2010, 08:01 PM
we have had this discussion before. The US constitution in its original body before the Bill of rights amendments prohibits any state from charging a head tax fee not directly related to the cost of the operation of the port(and that is not the roads or anything else). The purpose of this was to prevent a border tax or fee imposed by one state on goods to be delivered to another state. That is why the State Alaska settled this because the money was not used exclusively for the port.
as for Alaska not charging you enough for the use of the highway, that is because they have relatively low fuel taxes(although it does have among the highest fee for over weight charges etc). The State has no personal income tax and has paid its citizens a stipend from money it receives for oil that is taken out of the state. Its also true that it has more Federal land than any other state but that is a historic anomaly related to its purchase and the fact that not many people live there. You can easily make the tourists pay more by car rental taxes and room charges and you can also have a luxury tax on other things that tourists use. You just can't charge a head tax at the border to enter the state.

"No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress."

smeyer418
July 10th, 2010, 08:27 PM
this too is from the basic constitution

"No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage..."

and remember that the Alaska law allows provides for the taxation of the Casinos aboard the ship which is allowed under the retained police power of the state....

and which the lawsuit also has been withdrawn...

greatam
July 11th, 2010, 01:33 PM
this too is from the basic constitution

"No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage..."

and remember that the Alaska law allows provides for the taxation of the Casinos aboard the ship which is allowed under the retained police power of the state....

and which the lawsuit also has been withdrawn...

Yes, we have and could continue to argue the Constitution, head tax and other provisions forever. I only have three things to say about it-

1. IF the particular provisions of the law were prohibited by the Constitution in the form the law was written, why was the lawsuit withdrawn? EASY-the CRUISE LINE gets a rebate for each passenger (and bet the money won't be given back to the passengers) but since you can't read the final proposal, only time will tell.

2. Ton mile taxes in effect in some states were taken by suit all the way to the Supreme Court by ATA (American Trucking Association) I believe in 1983. Tax still stands. And THAT is a true tax on goods from one state to another-ie: Pick up a load in NYC, deliver 1/2 of it in Cleveland, Ohio (Ohio has a ton mile tax). So you pay 100% ton mile tax (assuming a full load from NYC) on the mileage from the Ohio state line and only 1/2 of the tax on the mileage in the rest of Ohio. Talk about "tonnage" tax.

3. Homer, Alaska-from emails I have received from my condo association, neighbors and friends, property taxes may raise BECAUSE the City of Homer has had a lot of extra costs from cruise ship passengers that were NOT covered by the money spent in Homer and the additional taxes collected. Homer has very few ships calling at her docks and the majority of businesses are locally owned (FAR different than most common Alaska ports).

Only time will tell just how much money Homer will have spent over and above what was budgeted (and hopefully recouped through additional sales tax). If my property taxes raise to provide amenities for cruise ship passengers (even basics like extra porta potties, trash disposal and extra road maintenance) why should I pay and not the cruise lines or the passengers??? What is the fair way to provide for these expenses-tack it on to the cruise fare in the form of the "head tax" or make the residents (most of them year round in Homer) suck it up and pay through higher property taxes or even additional sales taxes??? THAT is NOT fair.

Sargent_Schultz
July 11th, 2010, 03:31 PM
Most ports cruises visit have sales taxes and many levy taxes on rental cars and such.

Prior to completion of the Trans-Alaska pipeline, Alaska had the highest personal income tax in the country. Given the oil addiction of America, Alaska makes plenty off of even non-residents and rebates billions back to permanent residents. Not especially known for being fuel efficient, Alaska also make plenty off of cruise ships.

smeyer418
July 11th, 2010, 05:44 PM
...

2. Ton mile taxes in effect in some states were taken by suit all the way to the Supreme Court by ATA (American Trucking Association) I believe in 1983. Tax still stands. And THAT is a true tax on goods from one state to another-ie: Pick up a load in NYC, deliver 1/2 of it in Cleveland, Ohio (Ohio has a ton mile tax). So you pay 100% ton mile tax (assuming a full load from NYC) on the mileage from the Ohio state line and only 1/2 of the tax on the mileage in the rest of Ohio. Talk about "tonnage" tax.



I am aware of the difference of levying a tax on tonnage at the port and the tax on the use of the roads(by weight) as part of the police power of the state within its own borders-something which almost all states do. Why the court allows for the difference in the in state rate(which implicates the use and immunity section of the constitution) I am not sure. The Courts normally shoot down differences in rates based on such things.(NY tried a commuter income tax on income earned in NY City that exempted people living in NY counties outside NY City but tried to be on NJ CT and PA only)

Cruise Cat
July 18th, 2010, 03:48 AM
So you are telling me that you want the people of Alaska to SUPPORT your port activities???

SOOOOO many people do not realize that Alaska and THE PEOPLE OF ALASKA DO NOT get very much money from the cruise ships. OVER 70% of the seasonal workers are from the lower 48-NO STATE income tax in Alaska, so no money from the people who drive the buses, take you on tours, clean your Princess lodge or serve you food.

Same thing in the ports and the shops-a lot of the workers are "imported" AND a lot of the shops/tours/buses are owned by OUT OF STATE corporations, so their tax liability is very limited. EVEN such a thing as road tax and vehicle license fees-all those Princess and Holland America buses you see in Alaska-they are running on IRP (International Reciprocity Plan) license plates. Meaning they give a VERY small proportion of their license fee registration money to the State of Alaska.

I run my semi trucks up to Alaska every summer to haul fish out of there. I pay VERY little in road tax, an even smaller amount in license fees (my trailers are all plated in Oklahoma, the cheapest state and tractors are primarily plated in Missouri which is in the middle as far as fees). I buy fuel in Alaska and after I deduct all the federal taxes, Alaska still gets less per mile than NY or Arizona. That is a RIP to the State of Alaska. Same as the cruise ship "donations". I do own a condo in Homer but am simply incensed that cruise passengers seem to think that the Alaska people should pick up the costs for Alaska port visits.

I certainly don't expect the people of Alaska to subsidize my business. You should not expect them to subsidize your port visits.

They already get port fees just like any other port. If they want to charge an extra Tax, they can shove that where the sun wont shine!!!!!

Bazzito
July 21st, 2010, 05:43 PM
So you are telling me that you want the people of Alaska to SUPPORT your port activities???

SOOOOO many people do not realize that Alaska and THE PEOPLE OF ALASKA DO NOT get very much money from the cruise ships. OVER 70% of the seasonal workers are from the lower 48-NO STATE income tax in Alaska, so no money from the people who drive the buses, take you on tours, clean your Princess lodge or serve you food.

Are you kidding me?

Of course seasonal workers from the from the lower 48 don't pay state income tax. Niether do Alaskans - they dont have a state income tax in Alaska!

In the interest of fairness, it has to be mentioned that the seasonal workers also don't get paid a yearly stipend from the Permanent Fund like Alaskans do. The Alaskans get this annual payment from mineral royalties. It was $1,325,00 last year. Seems like Alaska is doing alright without extracting an income tax from it's workers, native and out-of-state, alike.

Chacooe
July 22nd, 2010, 01:18 AM
Why are they only charging the cruise ships with this tax, if you go there by Greyhound or fly in you are not charged this tax. This is discrimination against cruise ships in my mind.

Krazy Kruizers
July 22nd, 2010, 12:56 PM
Guess they figure that more people see Alaska by cruise ship than by car, bus or plane travel -- so hit them with the tax.