|Three Racing-Related Bills To Be Heard by House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee on Tuesday, March 26
(Austin, Texas - Friday, March 22, 2019) - On Tuesday, March 26 at 8:00 am, three racing-related bills - House Bills 1995, 2463 and 3366 - are scheduled to be heard by the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee. To listen to the hearing online, go to https://house.texas.gov/video-audio/ and select that committee hearing.
House Bill 2463 (HB2463), filed by Rep. Tracy King, is a purse matching bill that would take money from General Revenue funds collected by the State Comptroller on the taxable sale of horse fee, supplement and tack to create a $25 million annual incentive fund that would increase purses to bring quality race horses and breeding operations back to Texas. The bill, which creates no new taxes, would make Texas racing regionally competitive again. The bill is similar to a Texas Parks and Wildlife program that uses a portion of the tax collected from the sale of sporting goods and directs it to programs that promote outdoor activities. Economist Jon Hockeneyos estimates that by the third year of implementation, the state will more than recover the annual investment based on the increased econominc spending spurred by higher purses.
An economic impact study recently completed by TXP, Inc. demonstates the positive impact implementation of the bill could have both on the racing industry and the State of Texas. To read the report, click here.
A similiar bill passed out of the Texas Senate during the 2017 legislative session. Sen. Lois Kolkhorst has filed a corresponding bill (SB1998) in the Texas Senate for this session.
House Bill 1995 (HB1995), also filed by Rep. Tracy King, would redirect tax on interstate simulcast wagers in Texas from the General Revenue to the Texas Racing Commission's funding. This would stabilize funding for the agency responsible for enforcing the Texas Racing Act and regulating the pari-mutuel industry. It would also protect against another "shut down" of the Texas Racing Commission, which in the past has jeopardized the operation of the entire horse racing industry and has threatened thousands of jobs.
Sen. Chuy Hinojosa has filed a similar bill (SB2274) in the Texas Senate.
House Bill 3366 (HB3366) would take the Accredited Texas-Bred (ATB) funds out of the Texas Racing Commission budget and establish an escrow account for that money. This would ensure that the incentive fund is protected and delivered to the audience targeted by the Legislature. It would also provide a more acccurate reflection of the Texas Racing Commission's actual budget.
Sen. Lois Kolkhorst has filed a similar bill (SB1997) in the Texas Senate.
The Texas Horsemen's Partnership is supportive of all of these bills. We will post additional updates as news becomes available.