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Get a tax break for sending your remains into space

Virginia legislator seeks to boost space industry by offering a tax credit of up to $8,000 to residents who agree to a 'space burial' of their cremated remains.

By Teresa Mears Dec 13, 2011 6:08PM

Finally, a tax break for the dead. And it's not even in Chicago.


Legislation introduced in Virginia would give residents a tax credit of up to $8,000 for agreeing to have their cremated remains launched into space.


We couldn't find many specifics of the legislation, proposed by Republican Terry Kilgore, but it appears to be a "pre-need" plan that would allow you to collect your tax credit while you're still breathing and able to enjoy it.


"I know there's a giggle factor, but it's time to get over that," J. Jack Kennedy, a board member of the Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority, told WTVR-TV in Richmond, Va. "This is about business and job opportunities."


Under the proposal, to be debated by the state's General Assembly next year, taxpayers can get a credit of up to $2,500 a year, for a total of $8,000 for agreeing to have their cremated remains "buried" in space. The tax break would last from 2013 to 2020, and we don't know what happens if you change your mind between the time you get the credit and you actually need to be buried.


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State officials are hoping the tax break will boost Virginia's commercial space industry, which also gets a variety of conventional corporate tax breaks. To get the tax credit for space burial, individuals would have to agree to have their remains launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island.


The measure would not only boost the space industry, it would boost the local economy because mourners who come to say goodbye to their loved ones would stay at local hotels and eat at local restaurants. "If you're spending that money to go to space, you're going to want your peeps to cheer you on," Donna Bozza, director of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism Commission, told WTVR.


Costs to have one's remains sent into space range from $1,000 to have them launched into space (and then returned to Earth) to $10,000 to have them sent to the moon, Agence France-Presse reported. Among the famous people who have opted for space burial are writer Timothy Leary, "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, "Star Trek" actor James Doohan (he played Scotty) and astronaut Gordon Cooper.


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