02/13/2018 11:45AM

Kentucky bill would make Breeders' Cup tax break permanent


The Kentucky House of Representatives has approved a bill that will grant tax breaks to Breeders’ Cup Ltd. any time it holds its two-day event at a track in the state.

The House approved the bill on Monday, and it is expected to gain approval in the Kentucky Senate. The bill was introduced and sponsored by Rep. Dave Osborne, a Louisville-area Republican who is a horse owner and breeder.

Under the bill, Breeders’ Cup will be exempt from all state excise taxes on wagers, a tax break it has sought in all states in which the event has been held. The exemption has been granted by Kentucky’s legislature on a piecemeal basis when the event has been scheduled to be held at a Kentucky track, but the new measure would make the exemption permanent.

A statement accompanying the bill states that the exemption is worth $750,000 to Breeders’ Cup, which last held its event in Kentucky in 2015 at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington. The 2018 event is scheduled for Churchill Downs in Louisville, the ninth time the Breeders' Cup will be run Churchill.

The legislature is taking up the bill at a time when the state budget is under enormous pressure because of unfunded pension obligations. However, Republicans who control all branches of government have ruled out raising revenue from additional taxes.