By Chris Parks
April 07, 2006
First and foremost, the Port Revenue Bond will be repaid entirely and exclusively from the per passenger fee charged to each and every cruise ship passenger that arrives in Ketchikan; not one penny will come from "public funds". this per passenger fee was created soley for the purpose of improving and maintaining our cruise ship port facilities. by federal law, these funds can only be used to benefit the people being taxed(cruise ship passengers), and to mitigate any impact the industry may incur.
These are not "subsidies", but taxes incurred for services provided. This is no different than the fuel taxes you pay every time you fill you gas tank that help pay for the roads you drive on, or the airport fees that you pay as part of your airline ticket everytime you take off or land in an Alaska Airlines jet. Don't forget that you pay these same fees and taxes any time you use any major infrastructure in any other town also. You even get to pay for Seattle's football and baseball stadiums every time you rent a car or stay in a hotel in that city.
Second, the cruise ship industry and the businesses that service them and their customers, receive no "subsidies", grants, or any other type of government favors whatsoever, but they do generate large amounts of tax revenues that benifit everybody. the business I operate paid $1,256,905 in sales,property,state & federal income taxes alone in 2005. that doesn't even include the sales taxes we paid on goods and services used to operate our business, and that doesn't include the sales, property, and income taxes paid by each and every individual employee of our company, 45 people year around, and another 55 to 60 during the summer season. With out the cruise ship industry, these numbers would be mere fractions of what i have shown here.
All of what I have mentioned doesn't even include all of the other economic benefits that are created by the cruise ship industry, which are vitally important to our economy since the major decline of the of the timber industry, and the demise of the pulp mill.
The Bond Vote for Port Improvement is most important economic development project in Ketchikan in the last 30 years, and without it we will see a decline in our economy and an increase in cost of living and taxes. Ketchikan has always changed to take advantage of the opportunities presented, from the days as a fish camp to the peak of the timber industry, in order to survive and thrive; this is no different today.
Please vote YES on April 11th
for Port Improvement and a Positive Economy.
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