Controversy from a recent Haines Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee meeting carried into the committee’s most recent gathering as well. But this time, the topic of debate was whether Haines should pursue a “bicycle friendly community” designation. Questions were once against raised about conflicts of interest on advisory committees.
Separate from the sales tax exemption, the Juneau Assembly had its first reading on an ordinance to earmark sales tax revenue to keep paying lawyers retained to fight the cruise industry’s lawsuit against the city.
The city’s finance department concluded last year that cruise ships are legally liable to collect local sales tax and could raise as much as $100,000 annually. But an ordinance considered by the Juneau Assembly on March 6 would exempt onboard transactions as a friendly gesture to the industry.
Alaska National Parks can hire the hundreds of seasonal employees they need to keep up with summer operations. Seasonal staffing was thrown into limbo when President Donald Trump ordered a federal hiring freeze in January. After about a month of questions and waiting,
The budget for state-funded tourism marketing has been cut by nearly 80 percent, but Alaska’s tourism industry continues to grow. Visitor counts for 2016 aren’t available yet, but in 2015, the state attracted a record 2 million visitors.
A $54 million project to add a pair of floating cruise ship berths to Juneau’s downtown waterfront is within months of completion. The project will expand the port’s capacity to accommodate larger vessels. That’s because cruise ships in Alaska are getting bigger.
The Juneau mayor’s tax initiative will certainly be welcomed by the cruise line industry which says its passengers pay nearly $8 million in sales tax while onshore in Juneau but has historically not paid sales tax for goods and services sold aboard its vessels.