A policy change may be coming for how the cruise passenger “head tax” is administered in Sitka.

The commercial passenger vessel excise tax – also known as the CPV – is a “head tax” collected by the state and distributed to port cities. When the Sitka Assembly meets tonight (8-8-23) it will consider a proposal to reinstitute a public proposal process for how those funds are spent.

CPV funds are regulated and must be spent on infrastructure or services that benefit marine passenger transportation. According to a memo from Municipal Administrator John Leach, right now the city’s CPV excise tax fund balance is just over $2 million. If the ordinance passes, each March the assembly could call for public proposals to spend the funds. Those proposals would be reviewed by the assembly in the fall. 

In other business, the assembly will consider leasing a 10,000 square foot lot on the Harbor Mountain Bypass Road to Vertical Bridge Development LLC. The company plans to build a cell tower there for its anchor tenant, Verizon Wireless.

The Sitka Assembly meets at 6 p.m. tonight. Raven News will broadcast the meeting live, following Alaska News Nightly.