02/27/2015 11:05AM

Breeders’ Cup tax exemption bill clears Kentucky committee

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – A Kentucky committee approved a bill on Thursday night that would exempt from state taxes all bets made during the two-day Breeders’ Cup event at Keeneland on Oct. 30-31.

The Breeders’ Cup has been regularly granted tax breaks by legislatures in the states where the event has been held, including in Kentucky. The bill, approved Thursday by the House Budget Committee, would exempt wagers from a 1.5 percent tax that is typically applied to bets at Keeneland, with the track and the Breeders’ Cup retaining the cut that is usually sent to the state.

The bill is expected to be brought up on the House floor early next week, the last of the abbreviated 2015 legislative session. The legislation is not expected to encounter much opposition in the House or the Senate.

The bill also would exempt the bets made at Keeneland during the two-day event from being included in the calculation of the track’s tax rate for 2015. Under Kentucky law, bets at tracks that average more than $1.2 million in ontrack handle during the year are subjected to a 3.5 percent tax, while wagers at tracks under that average are subjected to a 1.5 percent tax. Keeneland and all other tracks in Kentucky are currently below the average.