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NM legislators propose sales tax on Virgin Galactic tourist flights

We’re here to help you: A bi-partisan proposal by two New Mexico legislators would create a 6% to 9% sales tax on any Virgin Galactic space tourist flights that take off from Spaceport America.

“If the flights really became regular, that could be a nice source of income, not only for the state but also from the GRT shared with the local communities,” [one of] the bill’s … sponsors, Democratic Rep. Matthew McQueen, said.

…”I can’t think of a particularly good reason why we wouldn’t tax this activity,” McQueen said.

McQueen might be too stupid to think of a reason, but I can think of dozens, and they are called the many other airport runways across the globe where Virgin Galactic can launch tourists and bypass this tax. The company already has agreements with several.

The stupidity of this legislative proposal at this time is compounded in that Virgin Galactic, the only customer Spaceport America presently has, is struggling badly. It has yet to fly any commercial flights, and is facing investor lawsuits and an aging fleet. Adding a tax on top of these problems could kill it, thus making this bill a perfect example of killing the goose that laid the golden egg, before the goose is even born. Moreover, it will certainly discourage anyone else from launching from New Mexico, especially as there are so many other spaceport options popping up worldwide with no such sales tax.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Jay

    This will be another nail in the coffin of Spaceport America. V.G. is the anchor tenant at the spaceport. Last time I looked there were a few companies out there and a university leasing some space, but I believe those companies are startups so it is more like a business incubator.
    V.G. could easily move their operations to Texas or Florida.

  • Chris Lopes

    It is customary to wait until a new industry is actually flourishing before you try to tax it out of existence. Given the current status of Virgin Galactic, this is counting your chickens before you’ve even bought the original laying hen. At this rate, there may never be anything to tax. Reality can be such a buzz kill sometimes.

  • David M. Cook

    I could see a tax proposal if there was a robust, functioning enterprise here, putting folks up every week & raking in tons of cash, but taxing something that doesn‘t even exist yet is just plain crazy! The voters in this district need to put a pro-business person in this seat!

  • David M. Cook: This is a bi-partisan bill, with the two co-sponsors a Democrat and a Republican. I didn’t mention the Republican simply because he was at least not dumb enough to say something stupid.

  • Joe


    At least there is more happening at Spaceport America than the Oklahoma Spaceport. Both catered to a specific client and that has left both just a shell of the original plans.

  • sippin_bourbon

    The beat way for politicians to kill the blooming commercial space sector is to start heavily taxing it.

  • Col Beausabre

    ““If the flights really became regular, that could be a nice source of income,”

    The politician’s eternal attitude, how can I steal more money from the citizens to fund my hare-brained schemes and line my pockets

    Gladstone – “But Mr Faraday, of what use is this electricity of yours?”

    Faraday – “I do not know, my lord, but I predict that someday you will tax it”

    “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session” – Samuel Clemens

  • Jeff Wright

    Goose? Golden Egg? More like a pigeon with loose bowels. I would be angry were it levied against Musk…but here? I think it’s wonderful.

  • Warthog

    As a New Mexican, I must disagree. The state government used $200 million stolen tax dollars to build this boondoggle, so they must continue the theft and graft. How else are us poor taxpayers going to get our money back? The amount of corruption associated with this project is epic!

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