SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By Charles Edwardson


February 02, 2010
Tuesday AM

This is a subject that has interested me for awhile. Who ever coined the phrase"HEAD TAX" (sounds like a hunting trip) should have called it what it is, a port and harbor tax.

I know there is some disagreement on some of the money supposedly being spent on things it should not be spent on but those oppositions more than likely come from people who are probably not on the infrastructure side of the destinations visited by the tourists. Fact is "head count" was slightly down, yet some tour providers ie Caribbean Cruises have managed to pull fourth quarter profits despite a world wide reccesion like never before seen in our history. The bookings are steady for Alaska and in fact increasing as a destination "most likely desired". All of this in spite of the "head tax"and world wide recession. Fact is people will come to Alaska in huge numbers for years to come what ever the cost. Most importantly, in spite of a port and harbor tax that is charged by every free world destination, visited by every one of the same industries that visit our state.

Alaskans should not let tour industries scare tactics and number manipulations force us to repeal a much needed tax, not uncommon in any free world port. For the years 2001 to 2007 southeast especially, enjoyed tens of thousands of "head count increases in our little town". It was a hey day and we all benefited. "head count" leveled off as could be predicted even by Bernake. Headlines were blazing after we experienced our first leveling off in six years. Tour industry experts encouraged headlines 'industry loses x amount of tourist in 2008, etc' while in fact we did not loose anything we just did not gain as much as we had become accustomed to. There is a huge difference in the projected image and reality.

The same is the case for this HEAD TAX. Change the wording to port and harbor tax and this would not have even been an issue.

Charles Edwardson
Ketchikan, AK

Received January 29, 2009 - Published February 02, 2010


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