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NASCAR Doesn’t Need Sellouts When the Government Hands Them $70 Million

By admin | January 2, 2013

 Brian France and his organization benefited from the fiscal cliff deal in Washington.

By Richard Allen

So you think it’s a big deal that numerous seats are empty at most tracks when NASCAR contests its races? Well, in an odd piece of news related to government officials in Washington playing political poker with the country’s budget, the Daytona Beach, Florida based stock car racing organization will receive $70 million as part of the “fiscal cliff” agreement.

According to a report from ABC News, the money comes as an extension of a “seven-year cost recovery period for certain motorsports racing track facilities.”

The $70 million amount is an estimate of lost tax revenue if current tax credits, which are scheduled to expire, are extended for a year. In other words, had the deal not been reached, NASCAR tracks would have owed $70 million more in taxes. Now, they will essentially get a pass on paying those taxes.

According to this story, NASCAR needs the tax break to “maintain the current standard expected by our competitors and fans.” Also, NASCAR’s lobby machine spent $1.1 million influencing legislators to give them the tax break.

Apparently, the “current standard” is worth a $70 million tax break?

Much is often made on this website and others about the fact that NASCAR races have seen declines in attendance over the past decade. And at the same time, television ratings have declined dramatically during that same period of time. Apparently, however, that isn’t as big of a concern as one might think. A government handout of $70 million can help cover a lot of losses.

While many American taxpayers were relieved to hear that a deal had been struck between Democrats and Republicans on Tuesday night, it’s highly unlikely that many “average folks” benefited nearly as much as multi-million dollar companies like International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports along with Brian France(France family is principle ower of ISC) and O. Bruton Smith did. And by the way, the government did not extend the Social Security payroll deduction relief which means most of us will see our paychecks decrease by a little bit in 2013.

If you have stopped going to NASCAR races in recent years and you think you are no longer supporting that organization, that’s probably not the case. At least it’s not if you’re a tax payer.

By the way, if the term “NASCAR” as it is used in the headline or throughout this piece seems misleading, please click here to read my definition of the term “NASCAR”.

Click here to find outhow you could win $25 by correctly predicting the winner of the Daytona 500.

Topics: Articles |

19 Responses to “NASCAR Doesn’t Need Sellouts When the Government Hands Them $70 Million”

  1. Tony Geinzer Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    I think being played into a shell game of misleadership is not a joy. I feel that the fact we had enough issues of late sans Fiscal Cliff.

  2. Allen Ottinger Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    All “Pro sports” have turned into a joke! When players or drivers are paid more in salaries or purses than can made on ticket sales at the gate, then something is wrong.


  3. Russ Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    As distasteful as this deal is its just the tip of the iceberg. There are reasons why Nascar has decided to use ethanol based fuels, and embrace “green” tech. It all revolves around tax breaks. Thoughtful people began to wonder when ISC tracks added huge amounts of seats than a couple of years later pulled them out. A move that obviously wasnt based on a obvious need.
    Sad to say but it seems that in some respects the “sport”, excuse me “motorsport entertainment” is not much different than the Solyndra’s and Tesler’s of the world.

  4. Terry T Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Well, I’m certainly glad to see that things are working out for Brain Farts, I mean Brian France.

    What a damn country we live in. You can be a complete idiot by ruining a business your elders built up and the government rewards you for it.

  5. Richard Allen Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 6:58 am

    The bottom line here is this- NASCAR tracks would have had to pay an extra $70 million this year in taxes had the fiscal cliff agreement not gone through. Now, with the extension granted by the language within the measure, they are getting a break.

    You and I are not getting a break. The average household that earns $50,000/year will lose about $80/month from paycheck because of the increase in social security tax.

    People can quibble over the terminology of whether the gov’t is handing NASCAR money all day. But the way I see it, if you’re supposed to pay a tax and then you suddenly don’t have to pay it, you’re being handed money.

  6. Davey Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 10:44 am

    At least NASCAR makes money and helps the economy in so many markets. Better than spending it on monkey brain research in Guam

  7. Bill H Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Not having to pay income taxes because you don’t have income is indeed such a joy. That’s the point of your “NASCAR doesn’t need sellouts,” bit. The deal is that NASCAR would not need to pay as much tax on income that it does make, not that NASCAR can feel free to spurn income.

  8. jerseygirl Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 11:36 am

    yeah, it’s disheartening that instead of representing the public, most politicians whether Republican or Democrat are far more interested in the special interest groups.

    Maybe infuriating is the right word and it makes me sick. I read that more deals are being worked out — apparently there is another tax break for companies like GE who don’t pay much in US taxes. If the corporations would pay their fair share, we’d all be in much better shape.

  9. Steven Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    It’s great to read honest big picture journalism instead of hacks from ESPN, Fox and of course Nascar itself who relentlessly promote the France billionaires who own them and the sport.

  10. Lyn Bruno Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    The increase on Social Security was going through wether the fiscal cliff mess was resolved or not. Had absolutely nothing to do with any deals made or not.

  11. Oh my God... Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    … you are an idiot. The tracks aren’t saving 70 million in taxes this year, or any other year. They are being allowed to depreciate the cost of capital improvements over a shorter period of time. I am not going to even bother trying to explain to you why that will save the tracks that amount of money over time, but no actual money is going into anybody’s pocket.

  12. Richard Allen Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    From the article linked above- “Since 2004, Congress has passed a series of stopgap measures that allow owners of motorsports complexes to accelerate their depreciation expenses. This means that owners can deduct more in expenses, reducing the taxes they must pay.”

  13. MadCowRacing Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Wow! A tax break I actually agree with! I’m all for helping motorsports in any way possible, sure beats a lot of the other junk they waste our money on! I don’t see why people are turned off about this.

  14. lebozmann Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    I am A TAXPAYER 1st . NASCAR does not need a tax break. the cost they charge the race fan and now a Tax break on top it ,

  15. Russ Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    As a taxpayer I oppose any tax breaks or loopholes not available to the general public. This certainly qualifies on that basis. Whether I happen to like a particular industry or person is irrelevant.
    Wonder how much I would have to contribute to get a similar deal?

  16. Richard Allen Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Russ, exactly!

  17. eric Says:
    January 4th, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I agree with MadCowRacing!

    First of all, this isn’t a NASCAR tax cut. In fact its not even a literal tax CUT at all. All it does is allow car, truck and motorcycle racing facilities across the nation to continue fully depreciating new capital assets – such as grandstands, concession stands and parking lots — over seven years INSTEAD of every 15 years. It encourages facility improvements which would generate economic activity which would create jobs which ALSO would be geared toward improving the fan experience.

    Oh yeah, you might as well throw ARCA, F1, IRL, WoO, NHRA, and even your local short track since they are motorsports facility.

    And yes the bill DOES HELP the AVERAGE JOE. You get your Bush Era tax CUTS extended for all those who earn under $400,000. The only tax that increases for the average joe is the payroll tax at 2%.

  18. eric Says:
    January 4th, 2013 at 10:45 am

    How many HANDOUTS does a NFL franchise get from tax payers when they build a new stadiums?

    The ESTIMATED $70 million in write-offs is also over a seven year period. Get your facts straight.

    ISC, SMI, DVD or any other track ownership group has never gotten a TAX payer handout to my knowledge, unlike the NFL, to build a facility. Cowboy Stadium ALONE was paid nearly $300 MILLION in tax payer dollars alone just to build it. I dont endorse a league that takes tax payer dollars to build facilities; has strikes because management, refs, and players, feel they aren’t paid enough; causes my TV bill to go up because networks can’t sell enough advertising to cover the cost.


  19. George Says:
    January 4th, 2013 at 10:56 am

    It is despicable that NA$CAR, the all-American; self-made business would stoop to Government welfare. MA$CAR is entertainment; the tax break should go to cancer research.

    It is bad enough that NA$CAR allows imported Chevys form Canada; now they will be coming from Australia. I thought the cars were to be American-Made?