Congress Takes Action to Beat China in Space

Congress Takes Action to Beat China in Space

EXPLORATION PARK, Fla.—February 28, 2024—Space Florida, the state’s aerospace finance and development authority, announced that Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Ben Ray Luján (New Mexico) and Rep. Neal Dunn and Rep. Salud Carbajal (California) introduced legislation today that would make spaceport facility bonds tax-exempt, in line with most airports and seaports, solidifying Florida and America’s position as the global leader in the new space economy. This action would unlock significant economic potential and private investment, while supporting the development of new technologies that enhance American national security capabilities against foreign countries of concern, like China. 

The legislation comes on the heels of the smart and insightful inclusion of tax-exempt status for spaceport bonds as a strategic decision to bolster America’s competitiveness in the global space arena by the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. 

Key Points Supporting New Opportunities for Space Transportation Infrastructure Investment:

  • In Florida alone, Space Florida has tracked over $2.14 billion in private investment in spaceport infrastructure across 44 separate projects since 2012. The introduction of tax-exempt status for spaceports will only serve to accelerate this investment by attracting additional sources of capital.
  • According to Crunchbase, space infrastructure was a top area for investors in 2023, who invested more than $4.6 billion globally into startups in space-related businesses.  

“Thank you to Sens. Rubio and Luján, and Reps. Dunn and Carbajal for propelling this important financial and national security policy forward,” said Rob Long, president and CEO, Space Florida. “This strategic policy change empowers our state and national leaders to leverage the power of financial markets to accelerate space infrastructure development and bolster the economy. Florida leads the nation in prioritizing space transportation development through our designation of space as a mode of transportation. This policy change will help bring that same level of investment to states across the nation, signaling to investors that space infrastructure is a viable investment that helps revolutionize the way we approach the space economy, all while reducing the burden on taxpayer dollars.”  

“In the face of growing competition across the globe, the development of space transportation infrastructure across our nation is key to maintaining the United States’ leadership in space, and Florida is leading the charge,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Chair, Space Florida Board of Directors. “Thank you to those with a vested interest in space who are carrying this issue forward.” 

“In the race for space dominance, we cannot afford to fall behind. As adversaries like China continue to expand their presence in space, it’s imperative the United States takes decisive action to bolster our own capabilities,” said Senator Marco Rubio. “The Secure U.S. Leadership in Space Act of 2024 is a critical step towards ensuring our nation maintains its competitive edge.”  

“Given the global instability, the U.S. must prioritize the development of our space infrastructure to remain competitive with our adversaries,” said Rep. Neal Dunn. “Our airports and seaports receive tax-exempt bonds, and our spaceports should have the same opportunity. This would incentivize private-public partnerships that bolster innovation and spur economic growth.” 

“As the Representative for Vandenberg Space Force Base, our nation’s West coast range, my communities and I are seeing the firsthand reality of the exponential increase in commercial space launches year after year,” said Rep. Salud Carbajal. “Opening public-private revenue sources like municipal bonds, which were a foundational tool to meeting our nations’ needs when our new frontiers were the ocean or the air, will help us meet this important moment in the development of our space economy.” 

 “Without significant upgrades to the infrastructure at our nation’s spaceports, launch capacity will not be able to keep up with the demand, and America’s ambitions in space will suffer,” said John Neal, executive director, Space Policy – U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce congratulates Senators Rubio and Lujan, and Congressmen Dunn and Carbajal on introducing legislation that simply seeks to update the tax code so the United States can maximize the innovation taking place in the modern U.S. space economy.” 

Last year, Space Florida sent a letter to the IRS Commissioner urging him to take up this crucial policy issue to increase private investment in space transportation infrastructure, bolster the space economy, and enhance national security.  


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About Space Florida
Space Florida is where leading aerospace companies get everything they need to see their new ideas take off. As the state’s aerospace finance and development authority, Space Florida brings a mix of unrivaled experience, unmatched financial tools, and unbeatable location to the table by providing critical business financing opportunities for the aerospace industry, managing infrastructure investment in the state’s spaceport system, and facilitating research and development, workforce, education, and investment programs.