Richard Branson did it. And so did Jeff Bezos. Billiaoinres making trips to space is soon going to become a common affair which is why Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a senior member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, announced his proposal of imposing excise taxes on commercial space flights with human passengers that aren’t focused on scientific research. The growing space tourism industry will also give rise to environmental concerns which is why wealthy people making space trips should pay taxes that are similar to the taxes people pay for airplane flights. Blumenauer said in an official press release, “Space exploration isn’t a tax-free holiday for the wealthy.
Just as normal Americans pay taxes when they buy airline tickets, billionaires who fly into space to produce nothing of scientific value should do the same, and then some.” There are two parts to the congressman’s proposal; Blumenauer is proposing a 10 percent tax per person for flights between the altitudes of 50 and 80 miles, and the second tier entails a higher tax for flights that exceed 80 miles above the Earth’s surface with exceptions to the taxes for NASA flights for scientific research purposes. “I’m not opposed to this type of space innovation. However, things that are done purely for tourism or entertainment, and that don’t have a scientific purpose, should, in turn, support the public good,” Blumenauer said.
The proposal was announced on the same day that billionaire Jeff Bezos participated in a brief trip to the edge of space. Billionaire, Richard Branson, made a similar trip earlier this month.