05/28/2003 12:00AM

Racing cut from tax bill


A measure that would have eliminated taxes on foreign bets was not included in the final tax bill signed into law by President Bush on Wednesday.

The horse-racing measure, supported by the horse racing industry, had been passed in the Senate as part of the $350-billion tax-cut bill supported by the White House. A separate bill in the House, however, did not include the racing language, and that version was ultimately passed out of both houses of Congress.

"The Senate version had about 30 additions, and the House version had none," said Greg Avioli, the deputy commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, who has been spearheading the lobbying effort behind the measure. "As part of the resolution in committee, they decided not to have any extraneous provisions, so all of them were left out."

The language would have eliminated a 30 percent tax applied to any winning wagers made in a foreign country that are commingled into U.S. pools. Horse racing officials believe the tax prevents racetracks from expanding their business to many foreign countries. Currently, even Canadian racetracks form separate pools to avoid the tax.

Avioli said that the language could be attached to other tax or trade bills that are introduced over the next month.