Spaceport allowed to use tax money for operations for 1 year

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Finance Authority is letting the state’s spaceport use more tax money collected in Dona Ana and Sierra counties to increase its operating budget.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that authorities agreed Thursday to let Spaceport America for one year use extra money from the taxes.

But the spaceport wanted the excess tax money in perpetuity, a proposal that the authority rejected.

Some politicians have argued the tax money was only intended to help build the facility, not cover its daily expenses.

Spaceport America CEO Dan Hicks said the money is needed as the spaceport seeks to recruit more business from the commercial spaceflight industry, grapples with budget cuts and seeks to build yet more infrastructure, such as a railway link and payload processing facility.