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What's a tax break for motorsport doing in the US budget deal?

2018-02-11 11:40

GREEN FLASH: Danica Patrick (top, Chevrolet) and Denny Hamlin (Toyota) at more than 300km/h during the 2013 Daytona 500 at Florida's Daytona International Speedway. Pole-starter Patrick finished eighth. Image: AFP

Washington - Congress passed a $1.5-trillion tax cut package just two months ago. Turns out it wasn't enough.

Wedged into the new mammoth Senate spending deal is a pack of tax breaks for homeowners and electric car owners - as well as goodies for motor speedways.

The $4000 to $40 000 tax credit for purchases of new hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles is extended, as is the credit for 10% of the amount paid for new two-wheeled plug-in electric cars. Electric car charging stations also benefit.

The tax law that kicked in January 1 already provides a credit of up to $7500 for purchases of larger plug-in electric cars such as the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt. And it offers tax support for wind and solar energy — while also boosting oil and gas production.

The roar of Nascar racing, a perennial favorite among both parties, can be heard in the extension of tax rules for so-called motorsports entertainment complexes. The shortened, seven-year period for writing down the value of the asset would be extended. Lawmakers have promoted racing, with its correlated food vending and other facilities, as a job creator. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., has been one of the active proponents of the tax allowance.

A big winner, at least for this year: International Speedway, which owns and operates 13 motorsports facilities around the country, including Daytona International Speedway, Darlington Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway.

The owners of racehorses get an extension of the three-year period for writing down that asset.

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