Stumbo Defends House Action In Defense of Kentucky Workers :
Press release issued Wednesday by the House Speaker Greg Stumbo
For those who think of fast cars instead of the beach when they hear the word “Daytona,” one item in particular stood out during the recent legislative session: A tax incentive package to help Kentucky Speedway at Sparta land a NASCAR race.
Given our deep fan base, Kentucky should have Sparta the way Tennessee has Bristol, Alabama has Talladega, and North Carolina has Charlotte. No other state has a deeper appreciation of horsepower than ours!
To make this dream possible, Governor Beshear and key members of the General Assembly put their support behind legislation that promised tax incentives to help pay for needed expansion at the track – but only if the track landed a prestigious NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Since the track’s new owner already oversees 11 of these races, one of which could easily be shifted here, that hurdle was expected to be as easy as a victory lap.
The proposal quickly drew unanimous support in the Kentucky House of Representatives. With every incentive dollar flowing from the race’s economic impact, which studies have shown can reach hundreds of millions of dollars annually, we had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
As fans of racing know, however, a yellow flag can come up without warning.
It happened this legislative session when the House and Senate found themselves on opposite sides of what should be a minor issue. The problem: Should Kentucky workers be hired to work on the track?
We in the House believe they should. Your tax dollars should only be used to help workers and families, not out-of-state corporations. The House proposal rewards Kentucky Speedway for every Kentuckian hired. If half of the jobs go to Kentucky workers, half of the tax incentive money goes to Kentucky Speedway. Simple, right?
Unfortunately, the House’s protection of Kentucky jobs was eliminated from the bill sent to us on the very last day for action. We decided to hold out for Kentucky workers, rather than cave in to last-minute pressure.
At the end of the day, I believe the legislature will agree that we need to put Kentucky workers first, and I want you to know the House is committed to nothing less. Despite these speed bumps, Kentucky is still on track to be home to a NASCAR Sprint Cup race. We will all cheer together when that checkered flag flies.
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