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NASCAR is getting some help from the fiscal cliff deal, but are taxpayers really
surprised that a debate that went around in circles for weeks resulted in some
The fiscal cliff bill included an extension of the so-called NASCAR loophole that allows anyone who builds a racetrack to get a slight tax benefit by accelerating the depreciation on that property. In this case, racetracks can deduct more expenses and write down costs over seven years instead of the more typical 15- to 39-year period.
This has cost about $43 million over the past two years, but racing and NASCAR supporters like Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) believe it's a necessary correction tax code that "treats one theme park differently from other theme parks."
International Speedway Corporation (ISC), which was created by NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. to build the racing league's tracks, insists that the loophole also discourages
track builders from asking local governments for sales tax increases, hotel tax
increases and other public funding typically used to pay for construction of sporting venues.