Tax Credits for Getting Lost in Space?

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    Crossposted at ProgressVA.

    When you’re a Republican lawmaker, and even the ultra-conservative, anti-immigrant blogger Black Velvet Bruce Lee says your legislation is a contender to be “dumbest bill of the year,” you know you’re in trouble. But that’s just what he said about Del. Terry Kilgore’s bill to provide up to $8,000 in tax credits for those who want to launch their cremated remains into space, and I’m inclined to agree.

    Julian Walker at the Virginian-Pilot reports, “In a brief interview Thursday, Kilgore, R-Scott County, said he submitted the bill on behalf of commercial space flight advocates.” The astronomical idea to incentivize wealthy individuals who want to launch their cremated remains into the cosmos via a commercial space flight not only sounds outlandish, it’s also coming at a time when Virginia is facing a $1 billion budget shortfall.

    Also, if Kilgore’s idea is to help Virginia gain ground in the commercial space industry by providing a tax credit for rich people who want to be buried in space, one small problem might be that burials at space aren’t even a service the space facility provides, or even plans to, Cory Nealon at the Daily Press reports.

    So not only are ultra-conservatives calling it a dumb bill, but the tax credit it would create may not even be possible to use. Incentivizing through tax credits can be an effective way of bringing new business to Virginia, but credits to make the final frontier your final resting place is just too far out there.

    In the face of the Commonwealth’s looming $1 billion deficit, Virginians need their representatives to be looking for realistic ways to raise revenue, but instead conservatives like Kilgore continue to put forward nonsensical tax credits.