Billionaire Elon Musk's space exploration company SpaceX chose the nation's poorest city as the world's first private commercial rocket launch site. SpaceX has already applied for several commercial building permits at Boca Chica, a remote beach in South Texas about 20 miles east of Brownsville. Thanks to Gov. Rick Perry's incentive package totaling more than $15 million, the area is expected to receive $85 million in capital investment and 300 new jobs created.
The Colorado Legislature approved 11 bills in 2014 that would grant tax credits or incentives of various sorts to businesses, despite the Capitol avoiding any kind of "tax breaks" for many years. The bills were passed in hopes to boost Colorado's economy, improve the business climate and spur job growth. However, legislative leaders don't expect the trend to last, because this year's tax breaks will take a significant amount of money from the budget and they agree it's not sustainable to keep adding them.
As the national aerospace industry gets more and more competitive, Colorado lawmakers are considering tax breaks to keep up with other states. In an effort to help aerospace companies stay and grow in Colorado, House Bill 1178 (which cleared the finance committee last week) would give sales-and-use-tax exemptions for spaceflight property with minimal impact on Colorado's tax revenue. HB 1178 was introduced by House Speaker Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver) and House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso (R-Loveland) because they believe Colorado has become uncompetitive, since several other states already have the tax incentives in place.