I’ve been on the racing scene for 20 years. I grew up watching races at the Woodlands. Watching these beautiful animals glide around the track while the sound of their hooves thumped in beat with my heart was always mesmerizing. Now I own and breed Thoroughbred horses and I’m frustrated that my horses don’t get to race in my home state.
When I started breeding Thoroughbreds, I had Kansas-bred horses. It became obvious that, financially, my mares could not foal in Kansas. There were no more Kansas racing venues and other states offered breeding incentives in their state. So, now we race in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Iowa, Arkansas, Illinois and Kentucky. Some of my horses are bred and foaled in Kentucky, so I have to pay staff to care for them, rent to house them, farmers to feed them and an additional sales tax for the privilege of breeding in that state. I would much rather spend those dollars in Kansas to support our local farmers, businesses and state economy.
Kansas encourages a free-market economy. As the owner of my chiropractic office, I recognize that successful businesses provide products or services and in order to sustain or grow the business, they must make a profit. If they don’t, they cannot continue to operate. The current legislation Race for Kansas addresses that problem. When state-owned casinos and electronic gaming machines were allowed in Kansas, the legislation also increased the racetrack tax rate to 40 percent while maintaining a 22 percent tax rate for the state-owned casinos. Additional expenses that the racetracks have to pay include staffing, maintenance, utilities, insurance, food costs and property taxes. Anyone that owns a business knows that is not sustainable.
Race for Kansas, HB 2537, is a win for Kansans. It’s not asking for an expansion of gambling. It’s simply seeking tax parity, and as a result, it will create more than 3,000 jobs, significantly boost the economy and increase state revenue to generate supplemental funding for Kansas education, transportation and infrastructure in a time of budget crisis.
Let’s make Kansas a priority. Supporting HB 2537, Race for Kansas means supporting Kansas agriculture, businesses and communities. Let’s bring our horses and Greyhounds back to Kansas.
Kansas Thoroughbred Owner
Dodge City, Kansas.