Tax Credits for Getting Lost in Space?


    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.

    • bholl

      Here’s a better idea to save these folks some money. Have their ashes pulverized and thrown into an evaporating mud hole. Some of them will “rise up”.

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      Use of tax credits, tax exemptions, may well do good things such as bringing in new business or helping some special group. However, and this is critical for legislators to understand, every time they put one of those special interest provisions in the tax code, it is the equivalent of either increasing taxes (which they are usually too chicken to do) or cutting services for the rest of us.

      That Terry Kilgore found a patently ridiculous way to load up the tax code for special interests doesn’t surprise me. I’ll save my surprise for any possible passage of such an asinine bill.

    • NotJohnSMosby

      to send Kilgore into space – one way.  

    • YelowDawg

      A one way ticket for Mr. Kilgore! I will vote for that!

    • glennbear

      I have not started to search around yet but I am 100% certain that there is an entity somewhere that has contributed to Kilgore already or in the future that would benefit from this tax break. Conservatives do NOTHING unless there is a monetary motive preferably one which lines their own pocket.