U.S. Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced S. 2462, the Motorsports Fairness and Permanency Act. The SEMA-supported, bipartisan legislation would provide certainty to racing facility owners about long-term investments by amending the Federal Tax Code to make permanent the seven-year cost recovery period for investments in motorsports entertainment complexes. Currently, this tax incentive expires at the end of 2025.
"The Motorsports Fairness and Permanency Act is a simple fix to our tax code that will offer speedways the freedom to make long-term investments and upgrades to their facilities," said Sen. Warner. "I'm proud to introduce legislation that will improve driver safety, enhance fan experience and support jobs in our racing communities."
Companion legislation, H.R. 2696, was introduced earlier this year in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Claudia Tenney (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA), along with seven bipartisan co-sponsors. The legislation would allow racetracks nationwide to plan long-term improvements and safety updates. In 2004, Congress codified a temporary provision that defined "motorsports entertainment complex," and a 2020 appropriations law extended the accelerated depreciation of investments through December 2025.
The Federal Tax code defines a motorsports entertainment complex to mean a racetrack facility that "(i) is permanently situated on land, and (ii) during the 36 months following the first day of the month in which the asset is placed in service, hosts one or more racing events for automobiles (of any type), trucks, or motorcycles which are open to the public for the price of admission."
Accelerated depreciation of investments in a motorsports entertainment complex applies to capital expenditures, including a facility's ticket booths, race track surfaces, suites and hospitality facilities, grandstands and viewing structures, props, walls, facilities that support the delivery of entertainment services, other special-purpose structures, facades, shop interiors, and buildings in addition to support facilities (including food and beverage retailing, souvenir vending, and other non-lodging accommodations), parking lots, sidewalks, bridges, fences and landscaping.
"Motorsports are engrained in Indiana's history and culture and play a major role in our state's economy. This bill will make a simple fix to our tax code to give speedways the ability to make needed improvements, invest in safety, and enhance the spectator experience. I'm proud to support this bill on behalf of the Hoosier motorsports industry and race fans across Indiana," said Sen. Young.
Congress should act on this legislation to support the more than 1,500 race tracks across the United States that have been the source of affordable, family-friendly entertainment for more than half of a century. Most motorsports facilities are small businesses that employ many hard-working Americans and provide positive economic benefits to the surrounding communities they serve. Congress should make this provision permanent to all owners to make necessary investments in their tracks and property to ensure that racing continues to be available to enthusiasts nationwide.
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