Alaska Governor Sean Parnell has signed legislation lowering the state’s tax on cruise passengers, which will go into effect in October, and thus for practical purposes reduce cruise line’s operating costs in Alaska starting in 2011.

The state head tax will drop from $46 to $34.50 per passenger. Voters had approved the tax in 2006 seeing it as a means to help cover the cost of infrastructure to accommodate the ships and the passengers.

The high cost of the tax combined with other issues have reduced cruise capacity numbers in Alaska. And some of the other issues remain, however, including the most restrictive environmental regulations anywhere.