< Back to H.R. 4676 (106th Congress, 1999–2000)

Text of the Space Transportation Investment Act of 2000

This bill was introduced on June 15, 2000, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jun 15, 2000 (Introduced).

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HR 4676 IH

106th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4676

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to encourage the timely development of a more cost effective United States commercial space transportation industry, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 15, 2000

Mr. COOK introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means


A BILL

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to encourage the timely development of a more cost effective United States commercial space transportation industry, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘Space Transportation Investment Act of 2000’.

    (b) TABLE OF CONTENTS-

      Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

      Sec. 2. Findings.

      Sec. 3. Purposes.

      Sec. 4. Definitions.

      Sec. 5. Credit for purchase of space transportation vehicle provider stock.

      Sec. 6. United States commercial space transportation vehicle certification.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress hereby finds that:

      (1) The United States commercial space transportation industry is an essential part of the national economy and opportunities for United States commercial providers are growing as international markets expand.

      (2) The development of the United States commercial space transportation industry is consistent with the national security interests and foreign policy interests of the United States.

      (3) United States trading partners have been able to lower their commercial space transportation prices aggressively either through direct cash payments for commercially targeted product development or with indirect benefits derived from nonmarket economy status.

      (4) Because United States incentives for space transportation development have historically focused on civil and military rather than commercial use, United States space transportation costs have remained comparatively high, and United States space transportation technology has not been commercially focused.

      (5) As a result, the United States share of the world commercial market for space transportation has decreased from nearly 100 percent 20 years ago to approximately 47 percent in 1998.

      (6) In order to avoid undue reliance on foreign space transportation services, the United States must strive to have sufficient domestic capacity as well as the highest quality and the lowest cost per service provided.

      (7) A successful high quality, lower cost United States commercial space transportation industry should also lead to substantial United States taxpayer savings through collateral lower United States Government costs for its space access requirements.

      (8) Opening the space frontier to the American people must be a high priority of the United States Government as we begin the 21st century.

      (9) Opening this frontier and maintaining United States leadership in the world market does not require another massive Government program, but rather provision of just enough Government support on an incremental and timely basis to enable the more cost effective United States private sector to build lower cost space transportation vehicles.

      (10) Private sector companies across the United States are already attempting to develop a variety of lower cost space transportation vehicles, but lack of sufficient private financing, particularly in the early stages of development, has proven to be a major obstacle, an obstacle our trading partners have removed by providing direct access to Government funding.

      (11) Given the strengths and creativity of private industry in the United States, a more effective alternative to the approach of our trading partners is for the United States Government to provide limited incentives industry wide to help qualifying United States private sector companies obtain otherwise unavailable private equity financing for the critical development stages of a project, while at the same time keeping Government involvement at a minimum.

SEC. 3. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are--

      (1) to ensure availability of otherwise unavailable private sector equity financing for United States private sector development of commercial

space transportation vehicles which will have transportation costs significantly below current levels; and

      (2) as a result--

        (A) to avoid undue reliance on foreign space transportation services;

        (B) to reduce substantially United States Government space transportation expenditures;

        (C) to increase the international competitiveness of the United States space industry;

        (D) to encourage the growth of space-related commerce in the United States and internationally; and

        (E) to open the space frontier to the American people.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Transportation.

      (2) SPACE LAUNCH SITE- The term ‘space launch site’ means a location from which a launch or landing takes place and includes all facilities located on, or components of, a launch or landing site, whether real or personal property, which are necessary to conduct a launch, whether on land, sea, in the Earth’s atmosphere, or beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.

      (3) SPACE TRANSPORTATION VEHICLE- The term ‘space transportation vehicle’ includes all types of vehicles, whether now in existence, developed in the future, or currently under design, development, construction, reconstruction, or reconditioning; constructed in the United States by a United States commercial provider and owned by the commercial provider, for the purpose of operating in, or transporting a payload to, from, or within, outer space, or in suborbital trajectory, and includes any component of such vehicle not specifically designed or adapted for a payload.

      (4) STATE- The term ‘State’ means any State in the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

      (5) UNITED STATES COMMERCIAL PROVIDER- The term ‘United States commercial provider’ means--

        (A) a commercial provider organized under the laws of the United States or of a State as a corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or

        (B) a subsidiary of a foreign company and the Secretary of Transportation finds that--

          (i) such subsidiary has in the past evidenced a substantial commitment to the United States market through--

            (I) investments in the United States in long-term research, development, and manufacturing (including the manufacture of major components and subassemblies); and

            (II) significant contributions to employment in the United States; and

          (ii) the country or countries in which such foreign company is incorporated or organized and, if appropriate, in which it principally conducts its business, afford reciprocal treatment to companies described in subparagraph (A) comparable to that afforded to such foreign company’s subsidiary in the United States, as evidenced by--

            (I) providing comparable opportunities for companies described in subparagraph (A) to participate in Government-sponsored research and development similar to that authorized under this Act;

            (II) providing no barriers to companies described in subparagraph (A) with respect to local investment opportunities that are not provided to foreign companies in the United States; and

            (III) providing adequate and effective protection for the intellectual property rights of companies described in subparagraph (A).

      (6) UNITED STATES COMMERCIAL SPACE TRANSPORTATION VEHICLE PROVIDER- The term

‘United States commercial space transportation vehicle provider’ means a United States commercial provider engaged in designing, developing, producing, or operating commercial space transportation vehicles.

      (7) UNITED STATES COMMERCIAL SPACE TRANSPORTATION VEHICLE INDUSTRY- The term ‘United States commercial space transportation vehicle industry’ means the collection of United States commercial space transportation vehicle providers.

      (8) SPACE TRANSPORTATION COSTS SIGNIFICANTLY BELOW CURRENT LEVELS- The term ‘space transportation costs significantly below current levels’ means, for that market segment for which, or in which, the space transportation vehicle is designed, developed, produced, maintained, or operated, the cost of producing, maintaining, and operating the vehicle is 50 percent of the 2000 space transportation costs in that market segment as estimated by the Secretary.

SEC. 5. CREDIT FOR PURCHASE OF SPACE TRANSPORTATION VEHICLE PROVIDER STOCK.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to credits against tax) is amended by adding at the end the following new subpart:

‘Subpart H--Space Transportation Credit

‘SEC. 54. CREDIT FOR PURCHASE OF SPACE TRANSPORTATION VEHICLE PROVIDER STOCK.

    ‘(a) ALLOWANCE OF CREDIT-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- There shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this chapter for the taxable year an amount equal to the applicable percentage of the aggregate amount paid during the taxable year for the purchase of qualified space transportation vehicle provider stock.

      ‘(2) APPLICABLE PERCENTAGE- For purposes of paragraph (1), the applicable percentage is the percentage determined in accordance with the following table:

‘For taxable years beginning

--The applicable

in calendar year--

--percentage is--

          2001

--50

          2002

--40

          2003

--30

          2004 and 2005

--20

          2006 through 2010

--10

          2011 and thereafter

-- 0.

    ‘(b) MAXIMUM CREDIT- The credit allowed under this section with respect to the stock of each space transportation vehicle provider purchased during a calendar year shall not exceed--

      ‘(1) $35,000,000 for 2001,

      ‘(2) $40,000,000 for 2002,

      ‘(3) $45,000,000 for 2003, and

      ‘(4) $50,000,000 for each of 2004 through 2010.

    ‘(c) QUALIFIED SPACE TRANSPORTATION VEHICLE PROVIDER STOCK- For purposes of this section--

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- The term ‘qualified space transportation vehicle provider stock’ means any common stock in a C corporation or any stock in a State-registered limited liability company (LLC) if--

        ‘(A) as of the date of issuance, such corporation is a qualified space transportation vehicle provider;

        ‘(B) such stock is acquired by the taxpayer at its original issue (directly or through an underwriter) in exchange for money or other property (not including stock); and

        ‘(C) the proceeds of such issue are used by such issuer during the 36-month period beginning on the date of issuance in substantial compliance with the issuer’s projected usage submitted to the Secretary of Transportation under section 6 of such Act with its application for certification.

      ‘(2) QUALIFIED SPACE TRANSPORTATION VEHICLE PROVIDER- The term ‘qualified space transportation vehicle provider’ means any United States commercial space transportation vehicle provider (as defined in section 4 of the Space Transportation Investment Act of 2000) which has been certified by the Secretary of Transportation as provided in section 6 of such Act.

    ‘(d) RECAPTURE OF CREDIT WHERE ISSUER CEASES TO BE QUALIFIED- If, during the 3-year period beginning on the date qualified space transportation vehicle provider stock was purchased by the taxpayer, the issuer of such stock ceases to meet the requirements of section 6 of such Act, then notwithstanding any provision of this subtitle, the tax credits shall be recaptured and the taxpayer shall add said amount to the tax liability of the taxpayer during the taxable year during which such cessation occurs.

    ‘(e) APPLICATION WITH OTHER CREDITS- The credit allowed under subsection (a) for any taxable year shall not exceed the excess of--

      ‘(1) the sum of the regular tax liability (as defined in section 26(b)) plus the tax imposed by section 55, over

      ‘(2) the sum of the credits allowable under this part (other than subpart C thereof, relating to refundable credits).’

    (b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of subparts for part IV is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

‘Subpart H. Space transportation credit.’

SEC. 6. UNITED STATES COMMERCIAL SPACE TRANSPORTATION VEHICLE CERTIFICATION.

    (a) UNITED STATES COMMERCIAL SPACE TRANSPORTATION VEHICLE INDUSTRY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM-

      (1) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM- There shall be a United States Commercial Space Transportation Vehicle Industry certification program to provide certification for tax credit qualification under section 54 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to multiple United States commercial space transportation vehicle providers developing vehicles with space transportation costs significantly below current levels.

      (2) ADMINISTRATION OF PROGRAM- The program shall be carried out by the Secretary of Transportation under a streamlined application process pursuant to the terms of this section and any regulations that may be promulgated hereunder, in consultation with other United States Government officials, and private sector representatives, as necessary, to ensure fair, effective, and timely program administration and streamlined certification.

      (3) SCOPE OF PROGRAM-

        (A) TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT SUPPORT- The United States Commercial Space Transportation Vehicle Industry Certification program is intended to provide eligibility for tax credits under section 54 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to investors to support financing of qualified commercial space transportation vehicle development ventures during their startup phases.

        (B) EXCLUSION OF SPACE LAUNCH SITES- The program does not provide certification pertaining to the construction, reconstruction, or reconditioning of space launch sites.

        (C) EXCLUSION OF NONRELATED ACTIVITIES- The program does not provide certification for any corporation which includes in its operations and/or business plan, the construction, reconstruction, reconditioning, sale, or distribution of any product which is not integral to the design, development, construction, reconstruction, or reconditioning of a space transportation vehicle or vehicles as described in subsection (b).

      (4) NONDISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL MATERIALS- Materials that are submitted by a United States commercial space transportation vehicle provider to the Secretary in connection with an application submitted under the United States Commercial Space Transportation Vehicle certification program and deemed by the commercial provider to be confidential, and that contain trade secrets or proprietary commercial, financial, or technical information of a kind not customarily disclosed to the public, shall not be disclosed by the Secretary to persons other than Government officers or employees notwithstanding any other provision of law.

      (5) CONSULTATION- The Secretary shall consult to the extent deemed necessary for effective implementation of the Act with appropriate Federal agencies, congressional, and space transportation industry representatives.

      (6) PROGRAM MANAGEMENT- The Secretary shall manage the certification program consistent with the purposes of this Act.

    (b) AUTHORIZATION OF SECRETARY TO CERTIFY VEHICLE PROVIDERS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall certify vehicle providers who demonstrate by the submission of technical and financial information that they have a reasonable possibility of developing, operating, or maintaining a space transportation vehicle or vehicles with space transportation costs significantly below current levels. Authorization by the Secretary is deemed granted unless within 120 days of application submission the Secretary determines that the provider has no reasonable possibility of significantly lowering space transportation costs. Once certified, a vehicle provider must submit to the Secretary each year a certified audit opinion letter verifying its use of funds in substantial compliance with its application.

      (2) CONSEQUENCE OF FAILURES-

        (A) Failure to submit a certified audit opinion letter verifying substantial compliance with its application will result in decertification of the vehicle provider.

        (B) Failure to use funds received after certification for the development of a space transportation vehicle or vehicles with the goal to reduce space transportation costs significantly below current levels will result in decertification.