Oregon congressman suggests taxing billionaires for space tourism

18:56, 23 July 2021
Oregon congressman suggests taxing billionaires for space tourism Photo: Unsplash

US Rep. Earl Blumenauer said that Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and other rich space-tourists must pay taxes for this kind of entertainment.

"Space exploration isn't a tax-free holiday for the wealthy. Just as normal Americans pay taxes when they buy airline tickets, billionaires who fly into space to produce nothing of scientific value should do the same, and then some," Blumenauer said in a statement issued by his office.

He compared the tourist space flight to a Legoland trip where in addition to the tickets you must pay a tax fee.

"I'm not opposed to this type of space innovation. However, things that are done purely for tourism or entertainment, and that don't have a scientific purpose, should, in turn, support the public good," said the Oregon congressman.

However, according to Blumenauer exceptions must be made for researchers and people who use their money and space-flights for reasons that go beyond sole entertainment.

"Exemptions would be made available for NASA space flights for scientific research purposes. In the case of flights where some passengers are working on behalf of NASA for scientific research purposes and others are not, the launch excise tax shall be the pro-rata share of the non-NASA researchers."

Earlier Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos embarked on their private rockets and visited space. They believe that spaceflights will become a tourist destination in the near future.