The use of fees that are collected from cruise passengers by City and Borough of Juneau, Alaska must be connected to the cruise ship, federal judge ruled.
Cruise industry had challenged legality of the US$8 per passenger fee and alleged the port city spends the money too freely.
The money has gone toward constructing bigger docks for cruise vessels but also for things like public bathrooms, extra crossing guards, and a sea walk running past the downtown docks. Juneau even used some of the money in fighting the lawsuit.
US District Court Judge H. Russel Holland ruled on Thursday, December 6, that while Juneau "can keep collecting the fees, their use must constitute a service to the ship."
He says, for example, that a gangplank would be a service to the ship, but sidewalk repairs and access to public library’s internet which passengers share with the public likely would not be.
City Manager Rorie Watt announced officials were reviewing the ruling. The port city recently started soliciting public proposals for how to spend the next round of cruise fees.