Colorado Ranks Third in Space-Friendly States
Governor John Hickenlooper (D) of Colorado made the trek from the statehouse in Denver yesterday to sign key space-friendly Colorado legislation at the 30th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. The world’s largest annual space symposium takes place at the famed Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs and nominally draws a crowd of space aficionados and professionals, government and civilian alike, approximately 9,000 strong. Colorado House Bill #1178 is titled the “Sales And Use Tax Exemption for Qualified Property Used in Space Flight,” and it is hoped this legislation will help expand aerospace industry growth in Colorado. Spokesmen from the governor’s office and Tom Clark from the Colorado Space Coalition stressed that Colorado currently has the nation’s third-largest aerospace economy, and the new tax-exemption bill is part of Colorado’s strategic initiatives to support and grow one of its strongest industries. Indeed, Colorado Springs is known in government circles as the Home of Military Space. Several key space industry experts (both government and civil) present at the bill signing stated that the new tax exemption will add an important boost to keep Colorado ahead of the competition and further stimulate the state’s massive aerospace economy. Colorado is known as a national hub for geospatial technologies, remote sensing and satellite-based services. The space services and technology providers comprise the largest category of the state’s space economic activity, bringing in $6.3 billion in annual revenue. Currently, the Colorado space-based revenue is growing at a steady 8 percent annual rate. In conversation with Tom Clark, he admitted that in years past, Colorado has actually occupied the number-two raking for a state’s space-based economy, but was recently surpassed by Florida, which has similar tax-friendly legislation on the books. Clark was confident that with the new legislation Colorado would, like Avis, soon be number two again.