Special committee mostly lauds current tax rates on pari-mutuel profits

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A special state legislative committee created to study whether taxes on pari-mutuel betting and Historical Horse Racing (HHR) in Kentucky are too low, mostly praised the current rates during a hearing Monday, which is encouraging news for the state’s breeding and racing industries.

The tax rates include on profits from HHR, the slot-machine form of gambling that brings in millions of dollars a year. The newly formed pari-mutuel wagering taxation task force met Monday afternoon.

“Kentucky horse racing will remain competitive based on our current tax rates, we believe,” said Chauncey Morris, executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association. “It’s taken us 10-years to couple the best horse industry in the world with a more modest form of gaming and the dividends for Kentucky are transformational.”

Lawmakers heard from horse industry leaders who talked about the positive impact the HHR machines have had on the industry and ultimately the state, which will mean more jobs, more tax revenue and a stronger horse industry, which can continue to pay higher purses which attract better horses and trainers and to invest in facilities.

The Pari-Mutuel Wagering Taxation Task Force is scheduled to meet once a month before presenting its findings and recommendations to the Legislation Research Commission (LRC) by December 1, 2021.  Monday’s meeting was the task force’s second since its inception during the last legislative session.

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