Kentucky Makes a Breeders' Cup Tax Incentive Permanent


Photo: Breeders' Cup

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has signed legislation that makes permanent a Breeders' Cup World Championships tax incentive.

"We are delighted that Governor Bevin has signed HB 259 into law and would like to thank Rep. David Osborne and Sen. Damon Thayer for their hard work and support of this initiative," Breeders' Cup said in a statement. "A permanent incentive further illustrates Kentucky's strong support for hosting the Breeders' Cup and we look forward to returning to Churchill Downs on November 2 and 3 of this year, as well as future events in the Commonwealth of Kentucky."

The legislation will waive the state's excise tax on live pari-mutuel wagering for the event. According to the bill's outline, the waiver of the pari-mutuel excise tax was worth about $750,000 when Breeders' Cup was held at Churchill Downs in 2011.

The incentive provides a pari-mutuel wagering tax break and it most recently was put in place ahead of Keeneland hosting the 2015 Breeders' Cup. That incentive expired at the end of 2017.

The Breeders' Cup World Championships is horse racing's end of year championships, which features two days of racing and the best horses from around the globe. Currently, the Breeders' Cup World Championships moves around the U.S. each year. 

When the Kentucky House of Representatives passed the bill Feb. 12 Osborne suggested that it could put Churchill Downs into a mix of permanent sites for the event.

"Passage of this measure will place Kentucky on competitive ground with other states and venues," said bill sponsor David Osborne (Republican, Speaker of the House). "Churchill Downs has the opportunity to possibly be named to a permanent rotation of locations, and they have made more than $100 million in investments to secure the Breeders' Cup. A permanent incentive from Kentucky will send the right message."