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Robert Longley

Congress Gives NASCAR a $40M Tax Break

By December 24, 2010

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie JohnsonHow much money did NASCAR put in your pocket this year? Unless you're 2010 Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, probably not much. Well, as a U.S. taxpayer, you'll be helping to put about $40 million into NASCAR track owners' pockets.

Among the many sweeteners included in the Tax Relief Act of 2010, just signed by President Obama, was Sec. 738, allowing owners of "motorsports entertainment complexes" -- like NASCAR tracks - to write off their costs over only a seven year period instead of the 15 to 39 years typically required by the tax code for depreciation of nonresidential property, providing the track hosts at least one event within three years of its opening. Just for the record, the IRS objected to allowing this fast-track depreciation which essentially places NASCAR race tracks in the same tax category as amusement parks. But who is the IRS when it comes to tax breaks?

The provision is expected to net race track owners some $40 million and is on top of the tax incentives already offered by state and local governments to attract NASCAR into their area.

Of course, the bill also provides an estimated $162 million worth of tax breaks for non-sexually explicit U.S. television and movie productions. It's still all about the economy, silly.

Photo: NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson - Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Also See:
HIRE Act of 2010 Tax Credits for Businesses
Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

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December 28, 2010 at 11:40 am
(1) Peter S. Chamberlain says:

It’s got nothing to do with the economy, and less to do with creating good, full-time, so-called “permanent” jobs, and everything to do with favors for the rich owners and “talents” from the best Congress money can buy. Same for the existing break for amusement parks treated more favorably than any business you or I might start or at which we might get a good job.
Underlying problem: The Income Tax Amendment provides, by its terms, for “taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived,” i.e., different marginal tax rates for different higher incomes, not for special burdens for those who don’t tend to vote for your gang and special tax breaks for those who do and who make the right “political contributions,” otherwise known as payola, payoffs, and bribes, or who benefit from your political interference with the market and with allocation between different industries or parts thereof, etc. based upon political payoffs. I note you did not mention anything in these special favor provisions that even mentioned hiring, hiring the unemployed or disabled, raises, better health care benefits, or any other even arguably legitimate justification being required as a condition for this special treatment.

December 28, 2010 at 2:46 pm
(2) Jason says:

Where is the who in this article. Obviously the Administration did not add this give-away to the tax bill. Which Member(s) of Congress did this?

December 28, 2010 at 6:56 pm
(3) usgovinfo says:

Jason: The “who” was a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives from states with existing or planned NASCAR tracks. The measure was supported by the White House.

February 18, 2011 at 11:00 am
(4) Bob says:

This is something that has been in effect for over 30-years. It’s the government NOT the tracks who keep moving it to different bills. It’s not large enough for the government to push this through on its own. it’s been around for over 20-years and was not just created, but rather was moved into the bill. So, they attache it with various bills that keep changing. It’s not like it was created for NASCAR. This includes NON NASCAR facilities as well. Did you know that there are over 700 race tracks in the nation? did you know that there are thousands of small businesses that are supported by motorsports? Did you know that there are thousands and thousands of jobs supported by motorsports? It’s a mulit-billion dollar industry. And yes the NASCAR Drivers make a great deal of money. But they also have donated hundreds of millions of dollars through charitable causes. This is a VERY small investment into motorsports facilities. The PR ploy behind this is to say it’s NASCAR getting money, but that is not how this works. Don’t believe the PR you hear. And like NASCAR or not the states that have major racing facilities reap the beneifts of millions of economic impact to thier states. Why do you wnat to attack a facility that brings so much to the economy? Reaseach it some more before killing jobs, small business and economic impact!

November 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm
(5) T Vincent says:

Perhaps all NASCAR fans should read this article. The negative comments about President Obama and disrespectful behavior of the fans toward the First Lady maybe deserved if he decided to attack yet another tax break for the wealthy.

January 2, 2013 at 4:39 pm
(6) tracy stowe says:

what the hell. I’ve gone to my last nascar race

February 18, 2013 at 11:19 am
(7) Thomas Leonard says:

Have you seen the grandstands at Daytona this year? Even on qualifing day the stands had no people. Why does nascar keep changing …for the worse. They have managed to change so much that they have drove the Neck Car Fan. away!
I wonder how many tickets they have to give away this year to make the grand stands look FULL?

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