Public proposals accepted for Marine Passenger Fee proceeds starting Monday

By Jasz Garrett

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – Every year, the City and Borough of Juneau asks city departments and the public, including businesses and the visitor industry, for project proposals to be funded with Marine Passenger Fee proceeds.

Photo from CBJ website

This year, proposals can be submitted from Dec. 4, 2023, through Jan. 3, 2024.

Juneau voters in 1999 passed a proposition that assigned a tax of $5 per cruise ship passenger. The fee assists in funding projects or operational services that provide services to cruise ships and passengers and mitigate community impacts created by the cruise ship industry.

Juneau’s Tourism Manager, Alexandra Pierce, gave details on what they use the marine passenger fees for.

“We have used it to do things like build sidewalks and make improvements downtown and make improvements to Statter Harbor. So, for anything that is related to the visitor industry, this money is available. We asked for the public to submit comments in December every year,” she said. “What I mean by comments are recommendations for things that the city could use marine passenger fees for. We’ve had recommendations from the public that have been successful for things like signage that people want to see or better services downtown.”

Proposals must be submitted by Jan. 3, 2024, to or the City Manager’s Office, attention Alexandra Pierce, 155 Heritage Way, Juneau, Alaska 99801.

Pierce said they plan to improve the downtown Seawalk and Marine Park.

“The city puts in its own budget and departments do their own requests. And some of the things that we’re looking to fund with this year is improvements to the Seawalk. We want to extend the Seawalk from the Franklin dock to the AJ dock,” she said. “So, that’s from the end of the existing Seawalk to the rock dump. We did a bunch of public process about Marine Park last year and reimagining that park. We’ll be using money to rebuild Marine Park for next year.”

She added they’ll also be using fees to provide additional bus services.

“We are putting money towards visitor’s circulator to help kind of distribute people throughout downtown with a bus circulator service. We’re also giving more money to Capital Transit in order to help supplement the bus system, recognizing that a lot of visitors are using public transit to go to the glacier,” Pierce said. “Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about restricting visitors from using public transit. It’s public transit. It’s available to everybody legally, but we can try to supplement our transit service so that we have more buses on the road, more drivers.”

Every year, they also fund the Tourism Best Management Practices program, the crossing guard program, visitor information services, handling visitor loads, and the beautiful flowers downtown.

Pierce will develop a draft recommendation list of projects to be funded by Marine Passenger Fee proceeds, followed by a 30-day public comment period.

All Marine Passenger Fee project proposals and comments will be forwarded along with the City Manager’s recommendation list to the Assembly Finance Committee for review, and then to the Assembly for consideration during the upcoming budget cycle in June.

For more information, contact Tourism Manager Alexandra Pierce at 586-5240 or, or go to the Marine Passenger Fee Program webpage.