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California’s plan to tax rockets by the mile

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modeltrains

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Hmm ...

California has come up with a remarkable plan to tax rocket launches from its coast.

Specifically, their tax payments will be determined by how often they fly the 62 miles (100 km) from a California launchpad to the very edge of space while transporting goods or tourists. After 62 miles, the companies are deemed to be in space, and would not incur further taxes.

The proposal comes as the state’s technology sector ploughs increasing amounts of money into aerospace start-ups, and homegrown company SpaceX asserts itself as the leader in low-cost space access. California is home to highly skilled aerospace engineers and technicians, thanks to the long presence of companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, as well as research centers like Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Lab and NASA’s Ames research center.

At the moment, however, the proposed rocket tax will apply mainly to just two companies: SpaceX and United Launch Alliance, the only launch firms that regularly operate in the US. A third California company, Virgin Galactic, intends to fly space tourists in California and launch satellites, but is likely more than a year from commercial operations.

Yet all three companies have backed the new tax rule in meetings with the California government, according to government records and sources familiar with the matter, because the change would clarify their tax status.
https://qz.com/977207/californias-p...tly-what-spacex-ula-and-virgin-galactic-want/

There is no word yet, however, if SpaceX will also be taxed for the 62 mile space-to-Earth return flight of its reusable rocket boosters.
 

tomsteve

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from another article:

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.
 

rharshberger

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from another article:

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.
Seems smart to offer reasons to get more businesses to move to a state instead of reasons for them to want to move away.
 

SDramstad

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I would think that since they are operating out of Vandenburg AFB, which is Federal Property, that the state wouldnt have the right to do anything. Can the state regulate activities on federal property?
 

Peartree

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I would think that since they are operating out of Vandenburg AFB, which is Federal Property, that the state wouldnt have the right to do anything. Can the state regulate activities on federal property?
Vendors on Federal properties still charge, and pay, state sales taxes and income taxes so I don't see why not.
 

modeltrains

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I only skimmed the article, but it said that all 3 private space operation companies support the idea. Another hmmm...
It's more that they support having documentation about what's happening,
"... because the change would clarify their tax status.

In a letter to the California Franchise Tax Board obtained by Quartz, SpaceX CFO Bret Johnsen writes that “without the proposed regulation the standard apportionment rules are unclear as applied to space transportation companies. The proposed regulation provides certainty for us, as well as other taxpayers in the industry, for our California franchise tax filings going forward.”"
 

TALON

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NYS disagrees with this.
I was born & raised in NYC. So glad I went to college in Texas! Been here for 43 years. I miss a lot of things in NY, but nothing will make me give up my weapons or pay state taxes!
 

davel

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Isn't there something called 'equal treatment'? Or is that something only required here in Wisconsin. If they charge the aerospace companies for the 62.5 miles they fly in California airspace, they should also be charging the airlines for every mile *they* fly in California airspace. That would be one heck of a money making scheme.
 

PropellantHead

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Vendors on Federal properties still charge, and pay, state sales taxes and income taxes so I don't see why not.
I don't believe it necessarily matters where vendors sell their products. If their official business address (i.e. - where the bills get mailed to) is on non-federal property, then they would pay state taxes like everyone else.

But I'm typically wrong about something at least 3 times a day so this could be one of those times.
 

Rob702Martinez

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The air is free. How do you tax the air that we breathe let alone air space above your state?
 

modeltrains

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Yes, but they call it "Political Discourse"
Like "I feel a disturbance in the course"?
Probably related to that course of beans in the state dinner last night?

look, I just got in from the laundromat and those fabric softener fumes from that junk people insist on using affect my mind, so cut me some slack, okay :wink:
 
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