Monday, July 14, 2014

Federal Tax Credit Renewal Could Provide Huge Windfall To Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Corrupt members of Congress are currently considering legislation to reinstate a favorable tax credit originally written into federal law in 2004 that allows the owners of motorsports track facilities like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to write off capital investments they make in their facilities over just 7 years as opposed to the traditional investment write-off period of 15 years. The Senate Finance Committee has already voted to reinstate the special tax break. The last time Congress re-enacted the tax break, the revenue impact on the federal budget was estimated to be about $78 million.

According to the National Journal, NASCAR is complaining that the tax break is being referred to as the NASCAR Tax Break since it benefits the owners and not the sanctioning body. Laying that aside, one has to wonder whether the IMS actually will have any federal tax liability in the coming years. Indiana taxpayers have been forced to gift $100 million to the IMS to make improvements. Ten days ago we learned that at least a quarter of that amount was recently invested by the IMS in a new solar farm completely unrelated to the track, which carries with it its own set of special federal and state tax credits.

Will the IMS be allowed to claim the special tax write-off benefits that are actually paid for by Indiana state taxpayers if the federal tax credit is reinstated? It's just another aspect of motor sports funding that was completely ignored by state lawmakers and Gov. Mike Pence when they decided to give the Hulman-George family a $100 million gift in consideration for the campaign contributions and free tickets the IMS and its owners shower on them. There is no such thing as equal treatment under the law as supposedly guaranteed by the U.S. and Indiana Constitutions when our courts permit Congress and state legislatures to write tax laws to benefit their campaign contributors at the expense of the rest of us.

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