New Mexico — Taxing Their Way To Space Tourism!by Brad Warbiany
A referendum in New Mexico yesterday on whether to raise a local sales tax to help pay for construction of the world’s first commercial spaceport remained undecided today, and won’t be passed or defeated until about 550 provisional ballots are counted later in the week.
Dona Ana County election bureau supervisor Lynn J. Ellins said those in favor of the tax increase were leading by 204 votes. He said 17,000 votes were cast and the final tally of outstanding ballots will begin tomorrow. The county has 67,000 active, registered voters.
The unusual Spaceport America referendum– believed to be the first of its kind in the nation — would raise about $49 million toward the $200 million cost of building the facility. Richard Branson’s space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, has agreed to sign a long-term lease for the spaceport if the referendum passes.
Step right up, boys and girls! For a mere quarter of a percent of the cost of everything you buy, you can send eccentric rich people into space!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of space tourism. I intend to make it off this rock before I die. Heck, I’d even donate some money to a cause like this, as it makes it that much more possible that it will occur within my lifetime.
But I won’t ever— EVER— advocate taking your money by force to do it. I’m not a big fan of class warfare, but honestly, should people in Las Cruces on Social Security REALLY be footing the bill over this?