I won't gloat. But I did win a juicy bet -- dinner and Margaritas at a favorite New Mexican restaurant here in NYC -- because the forward-thinking folks of Doña Ana County, New Mexico approved their hotly debated and controversial sales tax hike, ultimtely finding a spaceport-filled future irresistable. It was close. An announcement on the county's website reads:

Doña Ana County News -- 4/6/2007 10:07am

The Doña Ana County Bureau of Elections has completed its canvass of the April 3 Spaceport Tax Election.

The final unofficial results are as follows: Yes = 9,020 votes; No = 8,750 votes.

The Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners will meet Tuesday, April 10, to certify the results and send the documentation to Santa Fe.

As approved by the voters, the new 1/4 of 1 percent tax to support infrastructure development at Spaceport America north of Las Cruces will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2008.


(My friend who lost the bet, a lawyer who is actually a big fan of commercial space, had said that having spent many years as a child living in southern New Mexico he knew the people of the area and felt confident they would no way approve any such tax referendum. Hehehe.)

Now if you'll excuse me -- I'm off to collect my winnings. Congratulations to the county, state of New Mexico, Governor Bill Richardson, Virgin Galactic of course, and all the future builders, employees, customers, supporters and friends of Spaceport America. (Even "Bossy" the
space cow.)

IMAGE: Sir Richard Branson; courtesy, Spaceport America.

* * *

UPDATE: And no, FAA/AST did not completely ruin my dinner here by publishing in the Federal Register today the final rule we've been waiting for on
experimental permits for reusable suborbital rockets. I did read scan the regs quickly, but will have to post about this later on. (Definitely not tonight. ;)

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