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.
The Juneau Access Project envisions 50 more miles of road up Lynn Canal to a ferry terminal closer to the road system. It has divided the Juneau community for decades and faces significant opposition from other southeast cities including Haines and Skagway. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker pulled the plug on the $574 million project last month.