California plans to tax space travel by the mile

Liberals are salivating at the idea of taxing cars by the distance they travel, to better rake in money for their nefarious purposes.  In California, they are taking the idea one step farther, planning to tax space rockets by the mile as well.

According to the proposal, California will collect tax from space transportation companies based on a formula factoring in how often a company launches spacecrafts out of the state, and, most importantly, how far a commercial spacecraft travels from California soil. Between May and mid-October, there were eight launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, in Santa Barbara County about 50 miles south of San Luis Obispo.

The Franchise Tax Board proposal said certainty about tax treatment "will lead to increased activity in the industry and will foster an atmosphere of growth and prosperity once present during the golden age of California's aviation industry, thereby creating jobs as the industry thrives in this state."

Yes, taxes always foster growth and prosperity...somewhere else where taxes are lower.

At least one company has already been lured away from California for the promise of greater financial incentives – though of a more earthly variety. Moon Express, a company working to mine the moon for natural resources, moved from Mountain View to Florida.

What this means in practice is that someone might take a trip to the moon from California, but if he were going to Mars or Venus or Dagobah, he would probably want to save money and leave from Florida instead.  If those rockets have meters like taxi cabs, and the rockets fly several hundred miles a minute, can you imagine how fast their meters will spin?

California state government spends all its time 24/7 thinking of new ways to tax people and businesses.  It's curious, though, that these bureaucrats don't seem to brainstorm ways to tax the dot-com industry – say, with a mouse click tax for companies like Google.  I guess Google has too much political clout to allow that.

What do you think California will tax next?

Ed Straker is the senior writer at

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