Breeders' Cup will miss tax incentive but event is positive for Keeneland, Thayer says

06/25/2014 05:40 PM

The decision by the Breeders’ Cup to return to Kentucky in 2015 comes just as legislation to give a tax incentive for the event expires. But state Senator Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said he thinks the state will still benefit economically.

The legislation that would have given the Breeders’ Cup a significant financial incentive to come back to Kentucky was sponsored by Thayer and passed in 2009. The bill would have let the host track could keep the pari-mutuel tax to use on purses or to split with the Breeders’ Cup, as reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader.

But that incentive has now expired as the Breeders’ cup would have had to return to the state by 2014. But even though they have missed the window to receive that tax perk, Thayer said it is still a good move for the event to return to the commonwealth.

Thayer added that the tax credit has been introduced and expired a couple of times, even before his time in the legislature.

“But the Breeders’ Cup obviously made a decision to forgo that tax credit this year knowing it was the last year it was in place but they’ve also made the decision going forward to come to Keeneland without knowing whether they could get the credit renewed or not,” Thayer said.

As for whether or not Thayer will try to bring the incentive back, Thayer would not commit to action saying he would have to see if there is support. But Thayer said the tax credit could be worth anywhere from $700,000 to a million dollars depending on the wagering handle.

Watch the whole interview with Thayer below:


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