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Commercial Passenger Vessel Excise Tax
Historical Overview

AS 43.52.200 – 295


Alaska imposes an excise tax on travel on commercial passenger vessels (CPVs), typically cruise ships that have 250 or more berths and provide overnight accommodations in the state’s marine waters. Passengers traveling on qualified commercial passenger vessels are liable for the tax.


The commercial passenger vessel excise tax rate is $34.50 per passenger, per voyage.


Cruise ship companies and commercial passenger vessel owners file returns and pay taxes monthly. The due date is the last day of the month following the month in which the voyages ended.


The CPV excise tax does not apply to passengers onboard a commercial passenger vessel that does not anchor or moor in state marine waters with the intent to allow passengers to disembark.

Disposition of Revenue

The Department of Revenue’s Tax Division deposits all proceeds from the CPV excise tax into the Commercial Vessel Passenger (CVP) tax account in the General Fund. Subject to appropriation by the Legislature from this account, the division distributes $5 per passenger to each of the first seven ports of call in Alaska. The tax is further reduced by any municipal taxes imposed on each passenger that were in effect prior to Dec. 17, 2007.


2006 – The CPV excise tax was enacted by 2006 Primary Election Ballot Measure No. 2. The measure was approved by voters at the primary election of Aug. 26, 2006. The results of the election were certified Sept. 18, 2006, and the initiative’s provisions became effective Dec. 17, 2006.

2010 – During the 2010 legislative session, the CPV tax was reduced from $46 to $34.50 per passenger. The tax was further reduced by any municipal taxes imposed on a passenger that were in effect prior to Dec. 17, 2007. This legislation increased the number of ports of call that may receive $5 per passenger from five to seven, and removed the provision that prohibited a port of call from sharing in the CPV revenue if it imposed its own tax. The legislation also repealed the Regional Cruise Ship Impact Fund. In addition, the 2010 amendment changed the definition of a voyage by adding, “on the state's marine water” following “more than 72 hours.” These changes were effective for the 2011 cruise season.