Rep. Barr Introduces RACE Act

May 28, 2024

NTRA Photo

• House Appropriations Funds $5 Million for Veteran’s Equine Therapy
• Tax Package on Life Support
• Farm Bill Potentially Heading to the Floor for a Summer Vote?

NTRA Release

On May 3, 2024, U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) introduced the Regulation Advancement for Capital Enhancement (RACE) Act of 2024 ahead of the 150th Kentucky Derby. This legislation aims to simplify the registration process mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), thereby enhancing the ability of innovative companies to securitize thoroughbred racehorses. This will allow everyday Americans to invest in the industry.

“The Regulation Advancement for Capital Enhancement (RACE) Act offers a common-sense solution to modernize racehorse ownership, recognizing the increasing diversity of owners, and opposes penalizing individuals and companies interested in fractional participation due to excessive federal regulations,” stated Tom Rooney, President/CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. “I am grateful to Congressman Andy Barr for his leadership on this crucial issue and for his continued support of our cherished sport.”

This legislation will facilitate fractional ownership models similar to MyRacehorse and others to expand investment which will undoubtedly contribute to the sport’s growth as more people are able to experience the thrill of owning a racehorse. Just last week, 2,570 fractional owners from MyRacehorse celebrated their horse, Seize the Grey, winning the 2024 Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. Success stories like this are vital for our sport, and this bill will help make them more common. The NTRA is actively working with Congress to build support for this legislation.

House Appropriations Funds $5 Million for Veteran’s Equine Therapy

On May 23, the House Appropriations Committee convened to review the Fiscal Year 2025 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. The Committee approved the bill with a 34 to 25 vote. The bill includes an initiative led by Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) to allocate up to $5 million in grants for equine therapy under the Veterans Affairs (VA) Adaptive Sports Program. These grants will be awarded by the VA to eligible organizations to plan, develop, manage, and implement equine therapy programs for Veterans and Armed Forces members with disabilities. 

“Funding initiatives to help Thoroughbreds find a second career is a top priority for the NTRA, and to be able to do that while aiding Veterans is a big victory,” said NTRA President and CEO Tom Rooney. “This grant will fund equine therapy programs so our retired racehorses can benefit our nation’s Veterans. Those of us who have been blessed to spend time with Thoroughbreds know how much they do for humans. It is my hope that as our athletes move into their next careers, they can help our heroes through equine therapy programs. We are thankful for Congressman Barr for spearheading this initiative which will not only help our Veterans but also the horses that we know will have a successful career in equine therapy.”  

The NTRA will continue collaborating with House and Senate leadership to ensure this provision remains intact as the bill progresses through both chambers of Congress. This initiative supports providing meaningful careers for retired racehorses and will remain a key focus for NTRA in 2024 and beyond.

Report language found HERE.

Tax Package on Life Support

Outside groups that support the bipartisan tax bill, including the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), have seen it stalled in the Senate for nearly four months. However, the NTRA continues to urge Senate leaders to take up the Wyden-Smith plan, most recently pushing for a vote by the end of May. The NTRA has consistently called for action, emphasizing the bill’s full expensing provision that has a significant benefit for the horse racing industry and has been crucial in boosting the equine economy.

Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), recently stated that he’s still discussing the timing of a vote with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) has predicted that the bill would pass the Senate if it ever reached the floor. Still, it’s hard to know what would compel Schumer to schedule a vote now after all these weeks of inaction, especially with other issues seeming more pressing and some signs that Senate Democrats themselves might not be fully united behind the tax bill.

Farm Bill Potentially Heading to the Floor for a Summer Vote?

On Friday, May 17, House Agriculture Chairman GT Thompson unveiled the House of Representatives’ version of the long-awaited Farm Bill. The bill includes a range of bipartisan priorities, such as strengthening farm safety net programs and various Democratic-led policies. However, it also crosses several key lines for senior Democrats, setting the stage for a political showdown over the essential legislation. As a result, the few rural Democrats left in the House are facing increasing pressure from senior Democrats to oppose the bill and support the rival proposal from Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

The Republicans’ slim majority in the House gives Democrats confidence that they can block any farm bill on the floor. House Agriculture Ranking Member David Scott (D-GA) remarked that Thompson’s bill “doesn’t provide a path forward to getting a bill passed on the House floor.” Notably absent from the draft bill is a tax title, which hampers NTRA’s efforts to reinstate the 3-year depreciation schedule for racehorses. Nevertheless, if a tax title remains absent, NTRA continues to engage with House and Senate Agriculture committees to ensure that provisions benefiting our sport’s interests remain a key focus in the ongoing policy discussions.

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