Committee votes to bar spending of Spaceport tax

February 3, 2014 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Senate panel has endorsed a bill that would prohibit the fledging Spaceport America from using hundreds of thous[auth] ands of dollars in local taxes to fund its operations.

The Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee on Monday backed the bill by Sen. Lee Cotter that would bar spaceport from using excess money from a gross receipts tax collected in Sierra and Dona Ana counties to help pay off bond debt.

Spaceport America Executive Director Christine Anderson said the extra money is needed to fund vital services while the state tries to recruit more tenants to the quarter-billion dollar project and waits for Virgin Galactic to begin its space tourism flights.

Backers of the bill say if the project needs more money, it should get it from the state, not local taxpayers.

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