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Speedway aid bill headed to senate floor


Legislation aimed at helping the Indianapolis Motor Speedway renovate the historic track and make up for recent attendance losses is headed to the Senate floor.

A bill authored by Indianapolis Republican Senator Mike Young would set aside five million dollars per year in tax revenue generated by the Speedway and its properties for the next 20 years.  That money would normally have gone into the state’s General Fund. 

Instead, it would be used to pay back bonds for Speedway improvements, including compliance with federal handicap-accessible requirements and lights that would allow nighttime races. 

Mark Miles is the CEO of Hulman and Company, the Motor Speedway’s parent company.  He says helping the Speedway helps Indiana.

“More than $510 million economic impact per year from the motor sports cluster that is here and growing because of the Speedway in large part,” Miles said. “At least 62 hundred good jobs.”

Senator Young says one of the reasons his bill is a good deal is that it puts a burden on the Motor Speedway and not the state.

“The state only has to put in what’s generated there,” Young said,  “so if the track can’t generate enough in these income tax brackets to get the state to the five million, they’re going to be morally obligated to pay that.”

The Speedway will also put $2 million of its own money each year towards the bonds.  The bill unanimously passed the Senate Appropriations committee Thursday and now heads to the full Senate. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.