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Space Florida seeks to expand spaceport designations and tax exemptions during the Legislative Session

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket sits on Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral at sunset for the United States Space Force's Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS GEO 6) mission. Photo credit: United Launch Alliance
The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket sits on Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral at sunset for the United States Space Force's Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS GEO 6) mission. Photo credit: United Launch Alliance

Space Florida, the state agency responsible for developing Florida’s private space industry, recently released its top priorities for the ongoing Legislative Session.

Jim Gregory is the Dean of the College of Engineering at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
Daryl LaBello
/
ERAU
Jim Gregory is the Dean of the College of Engineering at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Priorities for the 2024 Legislative Session

Leaders in Florida’s space industry are looking to expand aerospace infrastructure and make spaceport bonds tax exempt.

HB 577 and SB 968 seek to expand Florida's spaceport system territory to include Tyndall Air Force Base and Homestead Air Reserve Base.

Space Florida says the land owners still have authority over what projects or improvements can be made.

CS/HM 143 and SB 370 seeks to add seaports as a qualified tax-exempt category of private activity bonds.

Space Florida is urging Congress to take action, as receiving the tax exemption is not something the state alone can change.

Jim Gregory, Dean of the College of Engineering at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, said Space Florida's expansion plans are an indication that the aerospace industry is on the rise in the Sunshine State.

He points to the record number of launches we saw in 2023.

"It's an extraordinary amount of launch activity. But launches are just one piece of the puzzle of the aerospace industry in Florida. Guidance and navigation systems are being made in Clearwater, for example. There's a whole host of aerospace companies in Orlando and throughout the state."

Investment in Florida's aerospace industry

As Florida continues to invest in the aerospace industry, Gregory said more high paying jobs will come to the region which will have trickle effects in our economy.

"That's money not just for the people who hold those jobs, but then they're spending and investing in their communities."

He said Space Florida recently got 15 aerospace related companies to move to Florida. "And that's led to the preservation or creation of over 5000 Really high paying high quality jobs."

After a brief stint as Morning Edition Producer at The Public’s Radio in in Rhode Island, Talia Blake returned to WMFE, the station that grew her love for public radio. She graduated with a double-major in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!). While at UCF, she was an intern for WMFE’s public affairs show, Intersection. In her spare time, Talia is an avid foodie and enjoys working out.
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