Texas Racing Commission Announces Increase in Occupational Licensing Fees

The Texas Racing Commission recently approved occupational licensing fee increases and established a trainer testing fee. Both changes are effective on August 1, 2009.

In accordance with the Texas Racing Act, fees are based on the relative or comparative incomes or property interests of the various categories of licensees, with the higher income category of licensees paying the higher fees. The last increase to occupational license fees was in May of 2004.

Most of the lower income license fees will increase $5, from $20 to $25. For example, assistant starters, exercise riders, grooms, kennel helpers, lead-outs, and valets will now pay a $25 yearly licensing fee. Association management officers and directors, industry representatives, jockeys, kennel owners, owners, and trainers will see a $25 increase, from $75 to $100 per year.

The Commission also adopted two new license types, Vendor Totalisator and Vendor Totalisator Employee. Each totalisator vendor that provides services in this state will now pay a $500 occupational license fee and each totalisator employee will pay a $50 fee.

Trainer and assistant trainer candidates will now pay a $50 fee to cover the costs of administering the written and practical examinations. Assessing a fee covers the costs administering the exams. Assessing a fee should also reduce the expenses caused by trainer candidates who take the examination before being adequately prepared and/or who miss scheduled examinations without adequate notice. The written examination is monitored by Commission staff. Three people administer the practical examination: a Steward, a Commission Veterinarian, and a Texas Horsemen’s Partnership representative. Additionally, a horse and tack are needed so the prospective trainer can demonstrate hands-on horse knowledge.

In addition to the changes in occupational license fees, the Commission will assess fees to consider changes in racetrack ownership. Effective August 1, 2009, depending on the class of racetrack and the type of ownership change, these fees range from $3,500 to $75,000. A fee will also be assessed to consider a change in racetrack location. Depending on whether a track is a greyhound track or a Class 1, 2 3 or 4 horse track, the change in location fee ranges from $7,500 to $100,000. In February of 2009, the Commission raised inactive racetrack license fees by $25,000 a year.

The Commission is required by law to set fees in amounts reasonable and necessary to cover the Commission’s cost of regulating, overseeing, and licensing live and simulcast racing at racetracks. The Commission is totally self-funded, receiving no state revenue.

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