Tax Breaks For Race Tracks

While most people were worried about how last minute fiscal cliff legislation would affect their paychecks, owners of race tracks around the country were watching to see whether a temporary tax incentive would be renewed. It was.

Unlike football and baseball stadiums which usually receive public funding, building a new auto race track requires private investment.  As an incentive for building these tracks around the country, speedway owners are able to deduct investments in their facilities over seven years, rather than the 15 years required for most facility investments.

Las Vegas Motor SpeedwayThis has caused a lot of consternation in the weeks since the deal was passed in Congress.  Racetracks will be able to write off approximately $78 million in investments more quickly.  At a time when deficits are at all time highs, this seems almost criminal.

Track owners insist that this is not a new credit.  Owners have been taking the faster deduction for decades, first under an amusement park tax code and now under a specific motorsport tax credit that was added in 2004.  They insist that they still pay the same amount of taxes, just on a different schedule than other owners of commercial property.  Instead of paying even taxes over 15 years for new buildings or improvements/expansions of existing property, they pay lower rates for the first seven years and higher rates for the remaining eight.

In addition, while the tracks receive a break in their federal taxes, they still contribute to their local economies by paying property taxes and sales tax as well as generating jobs and attracting tourists who want to watch racers like Scott Tucker and Dale Earnhardt Jr compete.

Just as new stadiums for football and baseball have invigorated cities and neighborhoods around the country, the increased audience for motorsports is making the building of racetracks an important part of revitalization and expansion plans for numerous communities.  Making this tax break permanent would be a good incentive for track owners to improve existing tracks and consider investing in new ones.

12 comments

  1. kristine says:

    Well I guess that’s great for the track owners. I personally think they make a lot of money on races anyways, and also the race drivers get overpaid, but that’s just my opinion.

  2. Michael Hill says:

    Oh it is so cool that racetracks will be able to write off approximately $78 million in investments. And to do it more quickly too is a definite bonus. Wow. Thanks for this info… I found it certainly interesting!

  3. Yulia says:

    The motosport tax credit is a great idea in my opinion. Many people may not agree… but I like it since I’m a huge fan of the sport and probably couldn’t live without it.

  4. Dan says:

    It’s definitely a cool thing that race tracks get tax breaks. Since football and baseball stadiums receive public funding, it’s only fair. I really didn’t know before that building a new auto race track required private investment. Interesting!

  5. Hans Becker says:

    This is great news for race track owners in my opinion. Does this affect tax payers though? Just wondering. Great article! Bookmarked and shared.

  6. Becky says:

    Shouldn’t most business properties get tax breaks? They are generating money for the economy: jobs, consumership, etc.

  7. Toni says:

    I think race tracks are trashy, but to each his own!

  8. Livia P says:

    It’s such a scam that people are getting tax incentives, when so many people are homeless and starving.

  9. Shocker says:

    $78 million in investments… written off immediately? Oh my gosh. Dumb.

  10. Jezzica says:

    Is there a good business site to see if people with OTHER lines of business can get starter tax breaks, too? I’m looking at starting a bakery. I would love the help!

  11. Donna says:

    Motorsports like NASCAR have a really strong fan base so it’s definitely an incentive for cities to build one to attract racing fans and bring new business in. Since real estate is popular form of investment it would be nice if similar tax breaks could be available to y.help stimulate the real estate industry.

  12. Mary says:

    If it brings in business for the community and is paid for by private investment rather than tax dollars then I don’t have a problem with a slight tax break. Our economy can use all the help it can get right now.

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