Updated on 01/09/2015 2:08PM

Kentucky may grant tax break to Breeders' Cup


A bipartisan group of Kentucky lawmakers has introduced a bill to the state legislature granting the Breeders’ Cup a tax break during the two-day event scheduled for Oct. 30-31 at Keeneland in Lexington.

The bill would exempt all ontrack bets from a 1.5 percent state tax. The Breeders’ Cup has been granted the exemption in the past when the event was held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, and the legislation is expected to pass in some form during the brief 2015 legislative session.

The legislature adjourned Friday after setting the table for a return in early February, when the legislation is expected to be assigned to a committee.

The current version of the bill, introduced Wednesday night by a group of three Democratic assembly members and one Republican member, would require the Breeders’ Cup to return to a Kentucky track within the next four years. Previous versions allowing for the exemption had also contained a requirement for the Breeders’ Cup to return to the state, but they had no consequences aside from the expiration of the law.

Damon Thayer, the state Senate majority leader and a former employee of the Breeders’ Cup, said Friday that he expected the bill to move during the session when the legislature reconvenes. But he also cautioned that he wanted assurances that the Breeders’ Cup would return to Kentucky before supporting the measure. Thayer had shepherded the previous two tax breaks through the state legislature.

“As a Kentucky legislator, I want to see it in Kentucky as often as possible,” Thayer said.