Speedway tax breaks win approval

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A state Senate committee gave unanimous approval Thursday to tax breaks for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

The Speedway is privately owned by the Hulman Family who are looking for some public help to make up to $100 million in improvements.  

Their plan includes lights that could make the Brickyard 400 a night race and video boards that would improve the fan experience.  Hulman and Company CEO Mark Miles brought that message to the Statehouse. 

"There's a lot to do and resources are scarce," he said.

The committee was asked to create a special taxing district that could let the Speedway keep up to $5 million a year in state tax money. 

"We typically spend $5 – $15 million a year in capital expenditures on our own," said IMS CEO Jeff Belskus, "but we have limited access to capital."

The sales pitch included a video spelling out the history and notoriety of the 500 and an endorsement from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. 

"There is great merit in this program," said Chamber spokesman Bill Waltz, "and we would be very pleased to support it."

"This is a pretty big step," said committee Chairman Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville,) "not only for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway but it's a pretty big step for the state in establishing this type of a relationship."

The IMS bill is now headed to the full Senate.

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