7:12 PM EST, December 28, 2011
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.
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