Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Saturday May 06, 2017

California Seeks to Tax Rocket Launches, Which Are Already Taxed

The Golden State’s Franchise Tax Board has revealed that they would like to place an additional tax on launch companies who shoot off rockets in their territory. This tax would be based on mileage, which I assume means that costs would be calculated based on traveling distance. Unfortunately, the federal government already taxes commercial companies that include SpaceX and Virgin Orbit, so this may not make much sense.

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The tax board is seeking public input from now until June 16, when it is expected to vote on the proposed tax. The federal government already has its own taxes for commercial space companies, and until now no other state has proposed taxing commercial spaceflight. In fact most other states, including places like Florida, Texas, and Georgia, offer launch providers tax incentives to move business into their areas. Phil Larson, a former Obama White House official who now is assistant dean of the University of Colorado's College of Engineering and Applied Science, told Ars that California is discriminating against rocket companies by doubly taxing them.

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