New Mexico may tax tickets to space on Virgin Galactic

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Pity the poor space flight passenger: Flying up, up and away from Earth could get even more expensive as New Mexico lawmakers consider taxing the tickets on Virgin Galactic.

A bipartisan bill in the state Legislature would close a loophole excluding spaceflight passenger tickets from gross receipts taxes.

The move aims to harvest revenue as Virgin Galactic prepares for regular commercial service. The company told investors it had about 700 reservations already.

With the ticket price of $450,000, the tax would be at least $31,000.

Virgin Galactic said it will continue working with the state to grow aerospace in New Mexico.