The National Geographic ship Quest tied up to Petersburg’s drive down dock in the summer of 2017. (Nora Saks/KFSK)

Cruise ship companies stopping in Petersburg in 2019 will have to collect sales tax on their passengers’ tickets and pay a five dollar a head fee for passengers. Petersburg’s borough assembly Monday night voted down an ordinance that would have clarified that companies paying the new passenger fee would not have to pay sales tax on cruise tickets as well.

Assembly member Jeff Meucci was against the change.

“I’m going to vote not to pass this just because I’d like to see how it goes for the first year, maybe six months and if we see some strong push back from the visitor industry or locals about how it’s going we can certainly change it at that time but right now we have the sales tax ordinance in place and we have the marine passenger fee in place and I don’t wanna get lost in the details,” Meucci said.

The new passenger fee was adopted by the assembly in March and it takes effect in 2019. It charges five dollars for each passenger for ships with more than 20 passengers.
The vote was 6-0 against the ordinance in its first reading, with all present at the meeting except mayor Mark Jensen.