Carnival cruise lines could receive up to $1.5 billion in tax breaks for the first time under a new proposal to overhaul the corporate tax code, as the industry gears up for a new wave of competition.
Carnival cruises would get a special carve-out from the new legislation, according to the Associated Press, which cited people familiar with the proposal.
The proposal would be the latest in a string of tax breaks offered to cruise lines that have been criticized for underpaying their U.S. workers and operating outside the country’s corporate tax regime.
Carnival Cruise Lines and the American Cruises Alliance declined to comment.
Carnival Cruises operates the Carnival Princess Cruises and Carnival Magic cruise lines.
Carnival Corp., the company that owns Carnival Cruces, owns about 70 percent of Carnival Cruisers.
In February, the Associated Statesman reported that the companies would get about $1,300 in tax credits for each of the 1,400 Carnival Cruise Lines ships in the U.A.E., with a maximum of $1 million in tax relief per ship.
Carnival is the countrys largest cruise line, with more than 400 ships.
The new tax break proposal could help Carnival line the American Cruise lines and other U.G.s that are trying to compete against Carnival and other cruise lines in the global marketplace, said David Bock, an associate professor at the University of Southern California’s Wharton School.
The U.K.-based cruise line Carnival Cruised Corp. recently announced that it will add to its fleet of American cruises, which are the second-largest ship category in the world, by adding four more vessels.
While the proposed tax breaks are significant, they do not take into account the possibility that the new cruise lines would be taxed on the profits they generate, Bock said.
Bock said the tax breaks could make up for the cost of the new ships, which the cruise line has estimated could cost between $6 billion and $8 billion, according the AP.
The AP reported that one person familiar with Carnival’s proposal told the newspaper that the tax break would be worth about $200 million.
Carnival said the proposal was in response to a review of existing tax breaks.
The tax breaks would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, according an AP news release.