02/12/2013 4:05PM

Kentucky committee passes bill to tax account wagers


A Kentucky legislative committee passed a bill on Tuesday that would place a 0.5 percent tax on bets placed by Kentucky residents through account-wagering operations.

The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee passed the bill unanimously. A nearly identical bill has passed out of the full House on two occasions in the past three years, but it had not been taken up by the Senate in either year.

The effort to enact the tax is being supported by some horsemen and racing officials who have noted that wagers placed by Kentucky residents through wagering accounts are not subject to the same tax treatment as an ontrack bet. Bets placed through accounts also do not return as much revenue to horsemen and tracks as those placed ontrack.

Under the bill, 85 percent of the money raised by the tax would go to Kentucky racetracks and horsemen. Supporters estimate that the tax will raise $400,000 a year.