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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Virginia Technology Alliance Endorses ZeroG, ZeroTax Bill

With the leadership of the Southwestern Virginia Technology Council, the Virginia Technology Alliance will offer legislative support to the 'ZeroG, ZeroTax' proposal [see pgs. 7, 22 and 23] that is on Monday's agenda for the Virginia Joint Commission for Technology and Science meeting at the state capitol in Richmond.

The state legislation would exempt state taxation on gross income earned from commercial spaceflight launches from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport and income gained from spaceflight training activies from a Virginia airport or spaceport.

Delegate John A. Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake, Va.) is expected to be the primary patron of the measure provided it is endorsed, as expected, by the full JCOTS panel Monday morning. A number of legislators have agreed to back the proposal including the House of Delegates Democratic and Republican Caucus Chairs, members of the House Finance Committee, and members of the Virginia Aerospace Advisory Council.

Republican Caucus Chairman Terry G. Kilgore sponsored the Virginia Spaceflight Liability and Immunity Act signed into law by Virginia Democratic Governor Tim Kaine in 2007. Kilgore had much of the gross income exemption launguage in the 2007 bill but it was dropped to focus on the spaceflight immunity and liability issues.

Upon initial introduction of the 'ZeroG, ZeroTax' bill, the Speaker of the House, William Howell, is expected to refer the bill to the House Finance Committee for a hearing and an initial committee vote in late January 2008.

Virginia-based Space Adventures, Transformational Space, and Orbital Sciences Corporation may well be keeping an eye on the progress of this measure in the New Year. Perhaps the federal government should too!

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