Business aboard cruise ships will be subject to Juneau sales tax next year

A view from above of a large cruise ship docked in Juneau with Douglas Island in the background
A view from the Goldbelt Tram of a Princess Cruises ship docked in Juneau on Aug. 31, 2021. (Photo by Jennifer Pemberton/KTOO)

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.

Jeremy Hsieh

Local News Reporter, KTOO

I dig into questions about the forces and institutions that shape Juneau, big and small, delightful and outrageous. What stirs you up about how Juneau is built and how the city works?

Read next

Site notifications
Update notification options
Subscribe to notifications