05/22/2008 12:00AM

Farm bill veto overturned


Congress voted Thursday to override President Bush's Wednesday veto of the 2007 Farm Bill, legislation that includes provisions to allow a standard three-year depreciation schedule for racehorses.

The bill now becomes law. Under its Equine Equity Act provision, the depreciation schedule for racehorses becomes a uniform three years, regardless of the horse's age when placed in training. Previously, the depreciation schedule varied from three to seven years, depending on the horse's age when it begins training. Considering that most horses have ended their racing careers well before age 7, the bill now allows an owner to recover his or her costs over the time the horse is likely to race.

The bill also contained two other provisions designed to help horse owners. One makes horse owners eligible to receive emergency federal loans after a disaster. The other establishes a new permanent disaster assistance program to provide financial relief to horse farmers who suffer losses in areas that the Department of Agriculture declares disaster areas.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which had lobbied in support of the Farm Bill, announced Thursday that it will conduct tax seminars in conjunction with major Thoroughbred auctions to explain the bill's tax provisions and earlier legislation that changed the terms for expensing allowance and bonus depreciation on horse ownership.