Listen Live
97.9 The Box Featured Video
Cruise ship the Carnival Triumph docks in Mobile, Alabama.

(photo:Dan Anderson/AFP/Getty)

(GALVESTON, TX) — People aboard cruise ships who buy alcohol and tobacco being advertised as duty-free are apparently not getting what’s being advertised.

Mark Hower took a cruise recently that originated from the Port of Galveston.

When he returned to Galveston, he was quite shocked to learn that he had to pay a state tax on his duty-free purchase.

The Latest News Headlines, Traffic and Weather:

“They advertised it as duty-free on the ship,” Hower tells our news partner, KHOU 11. “People purchased the alcohol thinking it was definitely duty-free. And then when we got off the ship, to our surprise, it’s not duty-free.”

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission started collecting taxes at the Port of Galveston in January and will start collecting them at the Port of Houston by the middle of October.

TABC says it has collected about $280,000 in taxes at the Port of Galveston this year.

KHOU says, in the course of its investigation, it found that there’s no similar state tax collected at the ports of New Orleans or Miami.

The TABC says it has no plans to tax passengers arriving at airports, because it would cost more money than what the state would make.

Get Breaking News & More On Your Phone

Scroll to the bottom to comment here, or join the conversation on our Facebook page or with @News92FM on Twitter.

When Duty-Free Isn’t Duty-Free  was originally published on