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Why can't White House Waive PSVA for Cruises to Alaska?


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I have read many explanations about why the PSVA can't be waived to allow cruises to Alaska despite the closure of Canadian ports, but now the White House is encouraging shippers to apply for Jones Act waivers to get gasoline to East Coast ports.  I always said the President could do this 'with the stroke of a pen.'  So why not waive the PSVA the same way for Alaska cruises?

U.S. completes Jones Act assessments, ready to review waiver requests - White House

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5 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I have read many explanations about why the PSVA can't be waived to allow cruises to Alaska despite the closure of Canadian ports, but now the White House is encouraging shippers to apply for Jones Act waivers to get gasoline to East Coast ports.  I always said the President could do this 'with the stroke of a pen.'  So why not waive the PSVA the same way for Alaska cruises?

U.S. completes Jones Act assessments, ready to review waiver requests - White House

One situation is something of a national emergency, a national security crisis, which, as I recall is one of the exceptions to the law.

 

Cruising isn't exactly a national crisis.

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11 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

One situation is something of a national emergency, a national security crisis, which, as I recall is one of the exceptions to the law.

 

Cruising isn't exactly a national crisis.

It is to me!  And to the people who make their living in the ports of Alaska.

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1 hour ago, CruiserBruce said:

One situation is something of a national emergency, a national security crisis, which, as I recall is one of the exceptions to the law.

 

Cruising isn't exactly a national crisis.

Correct...a waiver is only permitted for national security reasons, so cruising is not eligible for a waiver.

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Why should they.  What have the representatives and senators from AK done for the current administration recently or at all.  Maybe if they did a bit of cooperation, the administration might be receptive to changes in rules.

 

DON

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7 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Until it happens...

It would require a statutory change not just a regulatory revision and there is no chance of that happening. The bills already introduced by Alaska's delegation have not even gotten a committee hearing nor would this.

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19 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

but now the White House is encouraging shippers to apply for Jones Act waivers to get gasoline to East Coast ports.  I always said the President could do this 'with the stroke of a pen.'  So why not waive the PSVA the same way for Alaska cruises?

 

That question occurred to me as well when I read about the waiver for gasoline tankers.

 

18 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

And to the people who make their living in the ports of Alaska.

 

It's an economic issue for those people as well as for the people on our West Coast who have had cruise related jobs.  An economic concern of today is to get people back to work that have been depending upon the stimulus checks keeping them afloat.  A creative bureaucrat could devise an explanation as to why a waiver could  be signed by the President in the national interest.  

 

17 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Until it happens...

 

It could happen.  There may be a certain Governor in a very Southern State that may be trying to find someway of "saving face" because of the position he has taken that has an impact on cruising from his State.  It's unfortunate that he belongs to the opposite political party than our President.  Will the President want to help him out?

 

16 hours ago, donaldsc said:

What have the representatives and senators from AK done for the current administration recently or at all.  Maybe if they did a bit of cooperation, the administration might be receptive to changes in rules.

 

If you believe, as I do, what President Biden said in his Inaugural Address about bipartisanship, and if you carefully examine the President's record and reputation when he was a Senator, this is a President that knows how to cooperate with those whose views differ from his.  Cooperation is a two way street.  And, intransigence on the part of either side leads to a lack of progress.  

 

"You support some of my positions on this or that issue.  I will support your concern for resuming cruises to Alaska, Senators Murkowski and Sullivan and Representative Young."

 

 

 

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It's also worth noting that Hawaii joined with Alaska in their pursuit of opening up cruising, because the PSVA and especially the Jones Act hurt them even worse than Alaska.  That makes it bipartisan right there.

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2 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

It's also worth noting that Hawaii joined with Alaska in their pursuit of opening up cruising, because the PSVA and especially the Jones Act hurt them even worse than Alaska.  That makes it bipartisan right there.

If you are talking about cruising, the Jones Act has nothing to do with it.

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1 minute ago, CruiserBruce said:

If you are talking about cruising, the Jones Act has nothing to do with it.

Don't assume people don't know what they're talking about.  I mentioned both acts deliberately, because when we were in Hawaii it was the Jones Act that they were complaining about hurting Hawaii by raising the cost of everything.  But they two laws are based on the same principles, so relaxing one would open up the possibility of relaxing the other.  Just as now that the Jones Act has been relaxed for the gasoline crisis, that makes it easier to get an exception for Alaska cruising under the PSVA as long as Canada stays closed.

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2 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

It's also worth noting that Hawaii joined with Alaska in their pursuit of opening up cruising, because the PSVA and especially the Jones Act hurt them even worse than Alaska.  That makes it bipartisan right there.

 

Very good point.  But, I think there needs to be more "I'll pat your back if you pat my back" for true bipartisanship to take place.  Who knows what is taking place "behind the scene"?  

 

Some legislator many years ago made what I think is a very wise comment.  Legislation making is much like making sausage.  One really does not want to know what is in the final product.  

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1 hour ago, Crazy planning mom said:

Wow!  I'm gobsmacked.  Very good news, but so unexpected from dysfunctional DC.  Especially after all the experts who showed so clearly why this wasn't possible.

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15 hours ago, njhorseman said:

It would require a statutory change not just a regulatory revision and there is no chance of that happening. The bills already introduced by Alaska's delegation have not even gotten a committee hearing nor would this.

I was surprised...to say the least...when the Senate passed the Alaska-sponsored bill...just hours after i said "no way" !!!🙄

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Posted (edited)
On 5/12/2021 at 8:40 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

It is to me!  And to the people who make their living in the ports of Alaska.

I honestly feel like Alaska got really greedy when they added the head tax to cruises several years ago. I know the individual tour guides are not the ones to do this but I almost felt like they (the state) were taking advantage of the tourists. I felt like they were saying "We want your tour dollars plus we are going to charge each person who arrives on a cruise extra because we can."

 

Maybe they will appreciate tourists more now.

Edited by Coral
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19 hours ago, Crazy planning mom said:

 

18 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Wow!  I'm gobsmacked.  Very good news, but so unexpected from dysfunctional DC.  Especially after all the experts who showed so clearly why this wasn't possible.

 

This is the best piece of news that I have read about the possible resumption of cruising!  If a 50-50 split U. S. Senate can make such a bipartisan decision, then the U. S. House of Representatives ought not to have difficulty in joining the Senate in helping to restore our Country to a sense of normality.  

 

Congratulations to Senators Murkowski for her leadership on this issue as well as to Senator Sullivan and Representative Young for their efforts.

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2 hours ago, Coral said:

I honestly feel like Alaska got really greedy when they added the head tax to cruises several years ago. I know the individual tour guides are not the ones to do this but I almost felt like they (the state) were taking advantage of the tourists. I felt like they were saying "We want your tour dollars plus we are going to charge each person who arrives on a cruise extra because we can.

 

I understand what you are thinking.  When that tax was levied, I wasn't pleased about it either.  

 

May I suggest that you consider a somewhat broader view of Alaska's sources  of revenue and their system of taxation?  The State has no income tax.  The State has no state-wide sales tax, although localities can levy a local sales tax that averages 1.76%.  Much State revenue involves the money the State receives from the production of their natural resources, particularly petroleum.  When petroleum prices dropped, the revenue from that source dropped as well.  That left a large hole in the State's income.  According to my relatives who live in Alaska, the impact of that is still being felt.  

 

Attempts have been made to establish a State Income Tax; each attempt has failed in their Legislature.  Money was needed.  The State did what many others in the other 49 States have done.  Initiate and/or raise taxes on the tourists that visit that locality, i.e. the taxes applied to one's stay at a hotel.  On most of my hotel receipts, I see at least a local hotel tax and, usually, a sales tax and sometimes a state levied tax on my hotel stay. 

 

Is there data that shows imposing such taxes discourages tourism? 

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3 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I understand what you are thinking.  When that tax was levied, I wasn't pleased about it either.  

 

May I suggest that you consider a somewhat broader view of Alaska's sources  of revenue and their system of taxation?  The State has no income tax.  The State has no state-wide sales tax, although localities can levy a local sales tax that averages 1.76%.  Much State revenue involves the money the State receives from the production of their natural resources, particularly petroleum.  When petroleum prices dropped, the revenue from that source dropped as well.  That left a large hole in the State's income.  According to my relatives who live in Alaska, the impact of that is still being felt.  

 

Attempts have been made to establish a State Income Tax; each attempt has failed in their Legislature.  Money was needed.  The State did what many others in the other 49 States have done.  Initiate and/or raise taxes on the tourists that visit that locality, i.e. the taxes applied to one's stay at a hotel.  On most of my hotel receipts, I see at least a local hotel tax and, usually, a sales tax and sometimes a state levied tax on my hotel stay. 

 

Is there data that shows imposing such taxes discourages tourism? 

I still feel the same as earlier. I pay state and local taxes where I live, quite a bit actually. The fact that it didn't pass in the legislature shouldn't mean they need to up the taxes for cruise ships.  Additionally, in 2019 they paid each resident $1606 and in 2020, $992 from the Alaska permanent fund. No other state has such funding.

 

I still feel they are greedy towards tourists. They expect tourists to pay so that locals do not have to. 

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3 minutes ago, Coral said:

 Additionally, in 2019 they paid each resident $1606 and in 2020, $992 from the Alaska permanent fund. No other state has such funding.

 

Quite correct.  Attempts have been made to eliminate that funding.  Those proposals went no where.

 

7 minutes ago, Coral said:

I still feel they are greedy towards tourists. They expect tourists to pay so that locals do not have to. 

 

I really don't disagree with your thinking.  My community has recently raised the hotel occupancy tax for visitors to my county in order to fund the renovation/renewal of a Convention Center that they "expect" to be an improved revenue generator for my region.  Well, we will see how that turns out to be.  

 

Why has this needed to be done?  The political mantra for my State has been to  cut taxes and then to cut them again, etc.  Local governments are starved for funds.  We, the People want the services that government should provide.  But, we don't want to pay for them.  There is something seriously amiss with this thinking.

 

 

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