Small business center can help get you in business with the lines
If you would like to become one of the 1,700 Alaska companies that provide a service or product to the cruise industry, the Small Business Development Center (BDC) at the University of Alaska Anchorage might be able to help.
BDC provides resources, advice and assistance that help small businesses grow and create measurable economic impact throughout Alaska. Assistance is provided by experienced business advisors and experts through on-site and/or online interactions or training, and at no or very low cost to clients.
What BDC provides
- Low-cost business workshops, both online and in six hub locations in Anchorage, Juneau, Kenai, Ketchikan, Soldotna and Wasilla.
- Online resources, such as our downloadable toolsand guide to the business life cycle.
No-cost confidential one-on-one business advising.
To find out more about BDC and the businesses it helps – like cruise visitor favorite Foggy Mountain Shop in Juneau – go to aksbdc.org.
Economic Q & A
Q. How much do cruise lines pay state and local government?
A. $179 million in taxes and fees. This includes a $34.50 passenger fee that is shared with local ports. Other state revenues include environmental fees, corporate income tax and a casino tax. Many municipalities collect sales tax and property tax, along with bed and car rental tax.
Bed and car/RV taxes in Anchorage by year
Source: Municipality of Anchorage (2003-2015).
Hotels, lodges and bed and breakfasts in the state’s major destinations had a healthy year in 2015, based on bed tax results. Bed tax revenue in the Municipality of Anchorage exceeded $26 million, which is another record year.
Q. How is the commercial passenger vessel (CPV) excise tax shared with the state and port committee?
A. CPV excise tax revenue is shared with the first seven port communities and ship visits. If a port city is in an organized borough, the city and borough can receive $2.50. Between 2007 and 2013, 17 city or borough governments have shared in the CPV excise tax revenue totaling $83,352,651.
For the state’s latest report on how communities spend their CPV revenues, click here.
Click here to view the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development’s detailed report of CPV. Click to enlarge the revenue chart below.
Q. Why can’t we tax cruise passengers to fund state government?
A. The U.S. Constitution, through the Commerce and Tonnage clauses, restricts the use of passenger taxes to services that are directly connected to the passenger and vessel. These restrictions allow residents and goods to flow freely from state to state without onerous local taxation. Imagine what a cross-country trip would cost if you had to p ay a new tax every time you crossed a state line. The Tonnage clause restricts the states from imposing taxes on any shipment of cargo without the consent of Congress. Taxing passengers to pay for services available to all citizens is considered restrictive of interstate commerce.
Q. Where do the numbers come from?