SBD/January 3, 2013/Facilities

Fiscal Cliff Deal Scales Back Upfront Tax Hits On Daytona Int'l Construction

Buried in the 154-page deal reached by Congress to avoid the fiscal cliff was a "section renewing 31 business tax extenders, including a seven-year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complexes," according to a front-page piece by Dinah Voyles Pulver of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL. The extension allows car, truck and motorcycle racing facilities across the nation to "continue fully depreciating new capital assets" over seven years. ISC Senior VP & CFO Dan Houser yesterday said it is a "very positive development," especially given the proposed changes to ISC-owned Daytona Int'l Speedway. DIS officials last year "announced plans for a massive renovation and expansion on their 663-acre complex, including the demolition and reconstruction of the grandstands, and an entertainment complex that could include up to 2 million square feet of retail space, nightclubs and movie theaters." The measure "helps keep ISC's plans on track, lessening the upfront tax hit of new construction." U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), who has "actively campaigned against U.S. military spending on sponsorships for NASCAR and other professional sports, was not happy to see the motorsports extension included." Houser said that the "national news media, bloggers and others misrepresent the legislation by dubbing it 'the NASCAR tax break.'" He added, "It doesn't impact NASCAR's taxes one way or the other." Houser said that ISC "anticipates increasing its planned investment in capital facilities by 25 percent or more on an annual basis over the next five years, from roughly $80 million a year to as much as $120 million a year." He added that the measure "helps level the playing field for motorsports, which compete for entertainment dollars with professional ball teams that often operate in facilities financed with tax dollars" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 1/3).
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