California lawmakers have approved legislation to exempt space companies from paying property tax on space-flight property.
The Assembly approved AB777 by Democratic Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi of Torrance on a 64-5 vote Wednesday.
Muratsuchi says the 10-year exemption in state law is necessary to help California retain companies in the growing space-exploration field.
Several lawmakers testified about the importance of the industry in the areas they represent. Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, a Republican from Bakersfield, said the governors of Texas and New Mexico regularly visit space companies in the Mojave Desert "trying to recruit them" to leave California.
The state Board of Equalization estimates the loss of tax revenue would be about $1.1 million a year. The bill now moves to the state Senate.
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