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Friday, January 11, 2008

Zero Gravity, Zero Tax Draws Legislator Support in Virginia

One State Senator and five State Delegates have introduced legislation in the Virginia state legislature to eliminate state income taxation on corporations and limited liability companies that would earn income in a no gravity space environment if launched to space from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia.

State Senator William C. Wampler, Jr. (R-Bristol), a member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, has introduced Senate Bill 286 to eliminate Virginia state taxation from business earnings in zero gravity. Wampler was joined by fellow southwestern Virginia State Senator Phillip Puckett (D-Russell County) in offering his ZeroG, ZeroTax legislation - Senate Bill 401.

In the House of Delegates, five members have offered similar bills designed to boost Virginia's hopes of building a commercial space launch business from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.

Delegate Terry G. Kilgore (R-Scott County) has offered House Bill 170; Delegate John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake) has introduced House Bill 238; Delegate Mark L. Cole (R-Fredericksburg) patroned House Bill 351; Delegate Joe P. Johnson (D-Washington County) introduced House Bill 874; and, Delegate Clarence 'Bud' Phillips (D-Dickenson County) patroned House Bill 1151 --- each designed to ensure tax relief for commercial space launch firms using the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.

Delegates Cole and Johnson serve on the House Finance Committee where Delegate Lynwood Lewis, Jr. (D-Accomac) and Delegate Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria) have agreed to back the bill in the Finance Committee.

The ZeroG, ZeroTax measure has received the endorsement of the Virginia Aerospace Advisory Council and the Virginia Joint Commission on Technology and Science in late 2007.

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