Government has been criticized for being slow to adapt to new technologies — but not when it comes to taxing them, it seems.
And especially not in California, where the Franchise Tax Board is blasting off with a proposal to tax the fledgling private spaceflight industry. The tax would be the first of its kind at the state level.
Perhaps there is a good reason for that. Maybe other states do not want to bleed the industry dry before it can even get off the launch pad. Yet, incredibly, the FTB says its tax scheme, which would be determined by a formula based on the number of launches made from within the state and the distance traveled, would be a boon to the industry. By introducing a measure of certainty over tax treatment, the FTB says, its proposal “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.”
Because more taxes — not savings; investment; competitive markets; good, old-fashioned hard work and ingenuity; and the freedom to keep the fruits of one’s labor — is what is needed to “foster an atmosphere of growth and prosperity.” And if companies have been holding back on their investments for fear of how much of their wealth the state will try to confiscate, that does not exactly speak well to the state’s treatment of businesses — in this industry or any other.
“Yes, taxes always foster growth and prosperity — somewhere else where taxes are lower,” quipped writer Ed Straker in a post for the American Thinker. “California state government spends all its time 24/7 thinking of new ways to tax people and businesses,” he added. Sadly, that does, indeed, seem to be the case.
There is something to be said for eliminating uncertainty over government tax and regulatory policies, especially if it provides some assurance that in-state businesses will not be…