States

California legislators asked to support state’s space industry

For the last several years there has been a flurry of activity at the state level in the form of legislation and other initiatives to support commercial space ventures: tax policies, liability indemnification, support for spaceport projects, and so on. This year, for example, the Florida legislature is working on legislation to support spaceport efforts at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, the Colorado legislature is taking up a liability indemnification bill, and the New Mexico legislature considered, but did not pass, an update to its own liability indemnification statute. California, though, has largely been on the sidelines while these and other states have worked on legislation to attract space businesses.

Stu Witt wants to change that. Witt runs the Mojave Air And Space Port, an FAA-licensed spaceport that is the home to a number of entrepreneurial space companies. Witt is concerned that other states that offer various legislative incentives will lure those companies out of the state, to the detriment of not only his spaceport but the state in general. “Virginia, Maryland, Texas, Florida, New Mexico, Colorado, and other states, with the support of their governors, legislators and business communities, are visiting aerospace businesses at the Mojave Air and Space Port in an effort to recruit them and their highly-skilled jobs to their states,” he said in a statement Monday.

The statement was tied to a press conference at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in Palo Alto, California, where Witt discussed his concerns and his request for action. He’s asking the state legislature to consider several pieces of legislation that would make California more competitive versus those other states and thus more likely to attract and retain those space companies. Those pieces of legislation include liability indemnification, “zero-g, zero tax” incentives, tax credits, and making it easier for the spaceport to tap state infrastructure funding.

At the press conference, Witt said their latest effort, backed by companies at Mojave as well as SpaceX and other companies in the state, has the support within the legislature of Assemblyman Steve Knight and a few others, and their specific requests for legislation were submitted last week. They’ve tried to push for similar legislation three times in the past but failed to get it through, he said, although with term limits in the state legislature there is “a whole new cadre of characters” there that he hopes will be more receptive this time around.

Witt said that this legislation can help keep the companies that have revitalized his airport over the last decade in the state and allow them to fly from there. “The view from space, if I had a choice, I’d like to see the Golden Gate Bridge and the tip of Baja from my trip,” he said. “The view would sell itself if you have a place to fly from California, and I would like to see some of these companies have the opportunity to stay in California and operate.”

28 comments to California legislators asked to support state’s space industry

  • SpaceColonizer

    HELL YES! We need to keep our space companies HERE! I’m a Lifelong California Resident, and I approve this meesage!

  • amightywind

    and I would like to see some of these companies have the opportunity to stay in California and operate.

    The aerospace can’t leave California’s sky high taxes and rapacious unions fast enough. A few crony side deals won’t change that. Zero liability in California? LOL! Commercial space would be much better off in right to work states like Texas or Utah.

  • GeeSpace

    Dtuart Witt said The view from space, if I had a choice, I’d like to see the Golden Gate Bridge and the tip of Baja from my trip, The view would sell itself”

    What part of a good business plan would have the objective of a good view?

    Actually, if the legislation is well done, I believe Brown would strongly support it. He was a strong supporter of space from several years ago

  • GeeSpace

    Opps. that should be Stuart Wilt

  • MrEarl

    As a lifelong resident of Maryland, I’m looking forward to MD, VA and the flight station at Wallops Island VA eating California’s lunch!!!

  • SpaceColonizer

    CA has the 9th most powerful economy IN THE WORLD in terms of GDP… businesses aren’t rushing to leave because of “taxes”. And that’s WITHOUT weed legalized yet… in the running to be our #1 exported crop if it is. We should just succede already and start OUR OWN space program (not really though).

  • amightywind

    businesses aren’t rushing to leave because of “taxes”.

    That’s not your state’s reputation. It’s nothing to me. I rather enjoy the spectacle. California is run by the state unions for the state unions. Its fiscal problems are a harbinger of what will soon visit us all at the national level. Legalizing dope would just bring the tanks in all the sooner.

  • Martijn Meijering

    Legalizing dope would just bring the tanks in all the sooner.

    Yeah, because that is what happens in the Netherlands, where I live…

  • DCSCA

    “At the press conference, Witt said their latest effort, backed by companies at Mojave as well as SpaceX and other companies in the state..”….

    What surprise– SpaceX etc., wants more government subsidies in the form of tax breaks, now from a state that’s flat broke. California is closing parks, cutting benefits to the elderly, firing teachers and reducing public services across the board and Master Musk wants a tax break. ROFLMAO.

    @SpaceColonizer wrote @ February 28th, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Your state is broke.

  • DCSCA

    MrEarl wrote @ February 28th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    “As a lifelong resident of Maryland, I’m looking forward to MD, VA and the flight station at Wallops Island VA eating California’s lunch!!!”

    Tuck in! The perception of California long held by folks back East is way out of date– the era of the Beach Boys, great public schools, well funded universities and competent public services is long gone. The place is lovely to look at but you wouldn’t want to live there– its basically a third world country now with clusters of gated enclaves where the wealthy hide separated by vast swaths of stuccoed, lower middle class homes, strip malls, crumbling infrastructure and $5 gasoline. Smart businesses fled Califorina in the 90s. And the aerospace industry, once the pride of Southern California, has evaporated, moved or closed.

  • What part of a good business plan would have the objective of a good view?

    The part where you’re trying to offer something that appeals to the customers?

  • Coastal Ron

    DCSCA wrote @ February 28th, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    clusters of gated enclaves where the wealthy hide separated by vast swaths of stuccoed, lower middle class homes, strip malls, crumbling infrastructure and $5 gasoline.

    You’re describing every state, not just California. You don’t get out much, do you?

    And the aerospace industry, once the pride of Southern California, has evaporated, moved or closed.

    When I Google “aerospace companies in California”, one company that tracks small businesses lists as many companies for California as Texas and Florida combined. So much for your theory. Maybe you shouldn’t get all your information from AM Talk Radio…

  • SpaceColonizer

    @Coastal Ron

    After “third world country” I didn’t see any point in dignifying it with a response.

  • Das Boese

    Martijn Meijering wrote @ February 28th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Yeah, because that is what happens in the Netherlands, where I live…

    Absolutely. Here at the D/NL border, we live in abject fear of the evils of your crumbling society! Only daredevils with a death wish ever venture into the Netherlands, the few that return are mere shadows of their former selves!

  • DCSCA

    @Coastal Ron wrote @ February 28th, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Uh, no–maybe yours, but then, you’re a Floridian, aren’t you. Have to check my passport- yes, get out fine, What’s your excuse. Try ‘googling’ companies in the Cayman Islenads– funny how a corporation can fit into a PO box. You’re just crankin’ to crank.

    @SpaceColonizer wrote @ February 28th, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    The truth hurts. California is broke– and broken. After 20 years here, it’s as clear as bottled water and good firms are leaving for better pastures– or left in the 90s.

  • Coastal Ron

    DCSCA wrote @ February 29th, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Have to check my passport- yes, get out fine,

    You need a passport to compare California with the rest of the U.S.?

    What’s your excuse.

    I have none, since I need none. I travel the U.S. enough to know that the majority of what you said about California is either untrue or grossly hyped. Essentially you’re making it up.

    You’re just crankin’ to crank.

    Something else you’ve made up. Google only finds you using this phrase.

    See a pattern here?

  • MrEarl

    I’m surprised this artical is getting this much chatter. Deals and tax breaks have become SOP of states trying to attract and/or keep industries and companies it deems to be important to the states economic future. I believe that studies have shown these tax breaks to be a break even proposition at best, but California is no the only state that deals with it.

    SpaceX is acting no differently than any other company would at the prospect of having a lower tax bill. I don’t think they initiated the the legislation but they would be foolish not to support it or take advantige of it.

  • Robert G. Oler

    DCSCA wrote @ February 29th, 2012 at 7:22 am

    The truth hurts. California is broke– and broken. After 20 years here, it’s as clear as bottled water and good firms are leaving for better pastures– or left in the 90s…..

    California is just the worst example of what GOP economics will eventually do to the nation if they are not reversed.

    In the end one cannot have a thriving multi faceted semi Empire…without the tax base and revenue to pay for it. Decaying infrastructure? That is because there is insufficient tax base to pay for devent infrastructure and that is in large measure because of the GOP notion that “the rich” If taxed less will spend their money in a manner to enhance the nation; not themselves.

    Instead of facing the reality that basic GOP economics are a failure; ie that you can keep reducing taxes on the wealthy and still somehow have economic growth that benefits everyone (and makes the nation stronger) the notion has been to say “well the nation shouldnt be spending money on X, Y, and Z….which in large measure is infrastructure AND some of the social programs which are designed to help every American have a chance at the dream.

    As must be amply clear from any historical analogy in This Country, there is no settling (or exploiting) space unless there is some massive federal investment to try and open it up. There would only have been a trickle of western expansion had the US federal government not built forts, railroads, had mounted Cav killing the Indians etc. We would have no real mobile economy today (no HOme Depot, Wally world, etc) without a massive federal investment in the road system…

    We would not have an excellent air transportation system if the FAA (that FEDERAL aviation administration) did not run a superb air traffic control system and help keep the airlines honest as to regulations…

    All of these are more or less oppossed (OK Maybe not western expansion but that was a different GOP) by Republicans…as is apparently any federal effort to try and open space to humans.

    What California shows is that the people who live in gated communities buying their own law enforcement, sewars etc…dont give a darn about the rest of The Republic…and mostly vote GOP.

    And unless we start taxing them to bring the rest of the nations infrastructure back up to “code” (and that includes our social infrastructure) then we are going the way of all Empires which got caught up in their grand military adventures…and not so much at what was going on at home.

    Robert G. Oler

  • vulture4

    State incentives are a zero-sum game. There is never enough money to support new projects, just an attempt to get people who already have funding to move from one state to another, which does nothing for the country as a whole. If the government, state or federal, is actually going to support space, it has to do it with tax dollars. But everyone with money wants tax cuts, and the people with money call the shots.

  • MrEarl

    RGO:
    “…the people who live in gated communities buying their own law enforcement, sewars etc…dont give a darn about the rest of The Republic…”

    Makes me wonder how large the gate and electric fence is around the new Republic of Olerland is. LOL

  • Robert G. Oler

    Other then liability action…the notion that we can get into space with “tax incentives” is as goofy as “a rising tide lifts all boats” or prizes. RGO

  • amightywind

    California is just the worst example of what GOP economics will eventually do to the nation if they are not reversed.

    You realize that California legislature has been in democrat hands for generations and that its politics are dominated by them?

    That is because there is insufficient tax base

    California has the highest state income tax in the nation. It has been brought to its knees by $150K fireman who retire on disability at 50. Higher taxes will just lead to more capital flight, as they have in Maryland and Illinois. We have been begging you to learn about the Laffer Curve for 30 years. Please check it out.

    social programs which are designed to help every American have a chance at the dream.

    Tell that to the feral children of single mother households in Compton, brought to you by ruinous ‘social programs’. They dream of new sneakers.

    did not run a superb air traffic control system and help keep the airlines honest as to regulations

    If seen that system close up and still shudder when I think about it. That fact is superbly built planes fill our skies, and unionized charlatans in the FAA take the credit.

    Oler. This was poorly argued even for you.

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ February 29th, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    If seen that system close up and still shudder when I think about it>>

    that is only because you dont have a clue what you are talking about. Really from the Falcon second stage spinning out of control to goofy statements like this; you are prone to snap judgements and judgements which back up your preconceived ideological notions. Most of the time you have no idea what you are referencing.

    I have more time dealing with the Air Traffic Control system in all levels…THIS FRACKEN WEEK then you have had in a lifetime.

    You dont understand almost anything and are in all respects the Best of the GOP a troll who goes around without the benefit of an actual name; commenting on things you have no clue about. RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    MrEarl wrote @ February 29th, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Makes me wonder how large the gate and electric fence is around the new Republic of Olerland is. LOL>>

    Hmmm “Olerland” is a bit much even for me. We are,as I type this, having two 40 foot culverts put in so that we can have two twenty foot gates…and some pedestrian entry ways from 4th Street…the north side will probably have a 12 foot fence system because it will be the backbone of my Jupiter HF monitoring system and my Nav Spasur radar reception antenna…

    The south side (4th street) will have Monica’s planter boxes along the perimeter. Good fences make good neighbors …RGO

  • MrEarl

    RGO is a HAM! That is soooo appropriate! If you keep the culverts open they make a nice place to keep the allegators for extra protection. :-)

  • California is just the worst example of what GOP economics will eventually do to the nation if they are not reversed.

    You mean that the Democrats that have been running the state for decades are engaging in “GOP economics”? Who knew?

    To quote someone, “goofy.”

  • DCSCA

    Rand Simberg wrote @ March 2nd, 2012 at 11:27 am
    Hmmm….. Wilson, Schwarzenegger and =drum roll= Reagan were ‘running the state for years’ as governors. ‘Goofy’ indeed.

  • Governors don’t control the budgets, or the “economics.”

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>