Whether they root for their favorite drivers or don't care who wins, taxpayers will be reminded every time NASCAR races over the next five years of an estimated $150 million in financial pain they'll suffer because Congress buried tax breaks for track owners in its “fiscal cliff” deal.
These giveaways are just as outrageous as public subsidies for stadiums and arenas. By extending tax breaks that allow owners to accelerate racetracks' depreciation, Congress shifted the financial burden of maintenance and improvements to taxpayers, the Trib reported Sunday.
Track owners hosting a billion-dollar sport — with corporate sponsorships up this year and a lucrative new TV deal with Fox Sports — hardly need such help. And even if they did, it would not be the taxpayers' job to provide it.
But Congress proved to be an easy touch for this crowd. Over the last two years, NASCAR spent $240,000 and track owner International Speedway Corp. — majority owned by the family of NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France — spent $300,000 lobbying for this dive into the public swag.
Aiding and abetting this latest episode of corporate wealthfare was a bipartisan Congress whose members had accepted campaign contributions from NASCAR executives and employees. Who says Democrats and Republicans can't work together.
Once again, they placed self-interest above the public interest. And they really wonder why the public thinks so little of them?
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.