New Mexico's local media are reporting that Dona Ana county voters have endorsed, by a slim majority, the proposition to raise a local sales tax to contribute to the cost of constructing the proposed $198 million Spaceport America, located 72km (45 miles) north of Las Cruces city.
The final result is expected on Thursday. If positive, Dona Ana county's local sales tax revenue for the spaceport is expected to raise around $48 million. A further $11 million could come from the combined contributions of the Sierra and Otera counties, if their forthcoming ballots are also positive.
The counties are expected to provide $59 million of the spaceport's projected $198 million construction bill. A further $115 million has already been appropriated by the state, and $25 million should come from related local government road building and a final $25 million from federal government funding.
Last month the state legislature released $33 million of the state's $115 million for the spaceport's final design engineering, construction bid process and initial road construction. Suborbital tourism company Virgin Galactic and the New Mexico Spaceport Authority also signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) for a potential 20-year spaceport leasing deal worth more than $27 million.
Virgin Galactic is the designated anchor tenant for the spaceport, which is expected to start operating in 2010.