Governor Signs Colorado Space Bill at 30th Space Symposium

May 21, 2014  - By 0 Comments
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signs a space-friendly bill at the 30th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signs a space-friendly bill at the 30th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

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.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper discusses space matters at the 30th Annual Space Symposium with Braxton Chairman of the Board Kevin O'Neil and Braxton CEO Frank Backes.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper discusses space matters at the 30th Annual Space Symposium with Braxton Chairman of the Board Kevin O’Neil and Braxton CEO Frank Backes.

Don Jewell

About the Author:

Don Jewell served 30 years in the United States Air Force, as an aviator and a space subject-matter expert. Don’s involvement with GPS and other critical space systems began with their inception, either as a test system evaluator or user. He served two command assignments at Schriever AFB, the home of GPS, and retired as Deputy Chief Scientist for Air Force Space Command. Don also served as a Politico Military Affairs Officer during the Reagan administration, working with 32 foreign embassies and serving as a Foreign Disclosure Officer making critical export control decisions concerning sophisticated military hardware and software. After retiring from the USAF, Don served seven years as the senior space marketer and subject-matter expert for two of the largest government contractors dealing in space software and hardware. Don currently serves on two independent GPS review teams he helped found, and on three independent assessment teams at the Institute for Defense Analyses, dealing with critical issues for the U.S. government. Don has served on numerous Air Force and Defense Scientific Advisory Boards. He writes and speaks extensively on technical issues concerning the U.S. government. Don earned his Bachelor’s degree and MBA; the Ph.D. is in progress.

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