JUNEAU — Alaska’s worthy provider of real-time marine vessel tracking has lost a portion of its funding to gashes by the governor to the state’s 2020 capital budget, a report said.
The Nautical Exchange of Alaska lost 11% of its state funding under a veto by Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, CoastAlaska pieced Wednesday.
The Legislature restored $400,000 in cruise ship passenger gain to support the network of ship-tracking stations. Dunleavy retained the cut through a surrogate veto.
The maritime industry pays a fee to the Marine Exchange to track ships in real time including cruise liners, cargo ships, oil tankers, and fishing yachts.
The Marine Exchange funding was to be drawn from the $34.50 head tax turn out to bed by every cruise ship passenger visiting Alaska. The governor has advanced the tax revenue should be redirected to port projects across coastal communities.
The Naval Exchange has received about $2.8 million in head taxes since 2013 and the governor conjectures it should look elsewhere, said Dunleavy spokesman Matt Shuckerow.
“While they be struck by done good work, they seem to be an organization that has unspent stores that can begin looking at new ways to operate,” Shuckerow said.
The direct tax money is restricted and must be appropriated by the Legislature, said Marine The Bourse Executive Director Ed Page.
“It’s not a fund that could be used for other exposed services or for schools or for housing or drug programs or what-have-you, it’s restricted to maritime germaneness,” Page said.