Beginning next year, cruise ships must collect Juneau sales taxes for business that happens on board while they’re in Gastineau Channel.
That’s because the Juneau Assembly voted Monday to partially repeal a sales tax exemption for cruise ships in Juneau waters. City finance officials have said that if not for the exemption, the city would have collected an extra $1 million in sales tax revenue in 2019.
Juneau’s borders extend beyond Gastineau Channel, but city officials did not want to tax commerce aboard a ship that just happens to be passing through without actually making a stop in town.
The Assembly also passed a resolution intended for state lawmakers that says the city supports a sustainable fiscal plan that includes new taxes — but specifically opposes a statewide sales tax.
City officials think a state sales tax would pressure the city to lower its sales tax rate but make up for the lost revenue with higher property taxes.