Alaska’s Supreme Court is weighing the legality of a raw fish tax that has pumped at least $25 million into coastal communities over the past five years. But a lawsuit filed by a Washington-based seafood company could change that.
Since the 1990s, Alaska has taxed seafood caught by factory trawlers and floating processors through the Fisheries Resource Landing Tax. Even though the fish is caught outside the 3-mile line in what’s considered federal waters, it’s often brought to Alaska fishing ports before loaded on cargo vessels and shipped overseas.
But the Washington state company, Fisherman’s Finest, is now challenging the state’s tax in court, arguing it violates a pair of provisions of the U.S. Constitution that restricts coastal states from imposing tariffs or duties on goods brought into and out of a state.
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