03/02/2016 11:55AM

Horse PAC favors House members, Republicans in 2015


The political action committee administered by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association in 2015 raised $276,742 from racing-industry members and distributed $288,500 to legislators, their associated PACs, and unassociated political groups, according to a report prepared by the NTRA and distributed on Wednesday.

The total raised in 2015 for the Horse PAC was down slightly from the $293,405 raised in 2014, an election year. The NTRA noted in its report that it is usually more successful in raising funds in election years. The 2015 total was the second-highest amount raised by the PAC since the recession started in 2008.

Last year, the NTRA’s federal lobbying efforts were concentrated on two areas: extending tax breaks favorable to horse owners and farm owners and convincing the U.S. Department of the Treasury to consider changing rules on determining the tax liability of some winning wagers. Late last year, Congress passed a bill extending the tax breaks, and Treasury is currently weighing the proposal to modify the withholding calculations.

Disbursements from the PAC in 2015 were heavily weighted toward members of the House of Representatives and toward Republicans. Approximately $215,000 of the $288,500 disbursed in 2015 went to legislators or their affiliated PACs in the House (which has 435 members compared with 100 in the Senate), regardless of party affiliation, and 75 percent of the total went to Republicans in the House or Senate or their affiliated PACs, according to the report.

In the 2014 election year, Republicans gained nine seats in the Senate, consistent with projections, giving the party majority control in the Senate for the first time since 2007. Republicans gained 13 seats in the House to solidify their control of the chamber.

Forty individual members of the House received disbursements from the PAC, while six senators received disbursements. The two congressional PACs for the Republican Party received a total of $25,000, while PACs associated with 18 individual candidates received disbursements, according to the report.

Additional details on the Horse PAC’s 2015 activities can be found at www.ntra.com/wp-content/uploads/2015-Horse-PAC-Annual-Report.pdf.