Residents of Otero County in New Mexico have defeated a Spaceport America tax increase to help build an inland spaceport that will serve as the launching ground for commercial spacecraft.
Reports from the field there say Tuesday's election tally show that 52.3 percent voted against the tax; 47.7 percent voted for the tax.
While not impacting Spaceport America as far as moving forward, the Otero non-support means there will be less money for operations. Officials have said the initial estimate cost to build the spaceport 45 miles (72.4 km) north of Las Cruces, NM, is about $198 million, with a cap set for $225 million.
Earlier, both Dona Ana County and Sierra County approved a tax increase meaning that Spaceport America will proceed. However, the Otero vote for the tax increase would have raised some $2.3 million for the effort, with that county becoming part of a triad of support to build the facility.
That hurts. And sux.
Dona Ana passed it. Sierra County passed it. But, oh, no, Otero couldn't. Geez.