NASA has launched thousands of rockets from Wallops Island over the last 60 years. And the state is hoping to capitalize on commercial space opportunities with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport there.
Soon, state lawmakers will consider a tax break that could foster a new niche for the facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore: launching cremated human remains into space.
House Bill 19 would authorize a tax deduction of up to eight thousand dollars for Virginians who pay to have their cremated remains launched into earth or lunar orbit. The catch? You'll have to use a spaceport operated by the Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority.
Following is the portion of the legislation that deals with the proposed tax break:
14. a. For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2013, but before January 1, 2021, a deduction shall be allowed to the purchaser for the amount paid during the taxable year for a prepaid contract entered into with a commercial space flight entity, as defined in § 8.01-227.8, to place the taxpayer’s human cremated remains into earth or lunar orbit from a spaceport facility operated by the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority established pursuant to Article 2 (§ 2.2-2201 et seq.) of Chapter 22 of Title 2.2. The total amount deducted by any individual shall be limited to $8,000 per person. The amount deducted on any individual income tax return in any taxable year shall be limited to $2,500 per person. If the purchase price of a prepaid contract exceeds $2,500 per person, any amount in excess of $2,500 may be carried forward and subtracted in future taxable years until the lesser of the purchase price or $8,000 per person has been fully deducted.
b. Notwithstanding the statute of limitations on assessments contained in § 58.1-312, any deduction taken hereunder shall be subject to recapture in the taxable year in which either of the following events occur: (i) either party terminates the prepaid contract or (ii) the contract is amended to provide for the launch of the taxpayer’s human cremated remains from a spaceport facility other than one operated by the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority.