• Oct 3rd 2008 at 5:58PM
  • 26
What do failing banks and foreclosed houses have to do with race tracks? A lot, apparently, if you're Charles Schumer. The New York Senator added an earmark to the nation's $700 billion "rescue plan" that will extend current tax laws for race tracks that allow them to be considered the same as amusement parks in the eyes of the IRS. As long as that's the case, track facilities can write off improvements to their concession stands, parking lots and the tracks themselves over a seven-year period rather than 15 years. On the surface this sounds like small potatoes, but adding up the numbers reveals that the tracks will save $100 million in taxes by writing off improvements over a shorter span of time. That means less of the earnings from each of those seven years will go towards taxes, helping the track owners achieve a higher annual profit in the short term.

The race track earmark wasn't in the House bill that got shot down last week, but was added by Senator Schumer to the 450-page bill, along with a number of other earmarks by other senators, to attract a few more Yes votes when the bill returned to the House of Representatives. It must have worked, as the House passed the bill today by a vote of 263-171 and it was signed into law by President Bush this afternoon. We feel rescued already.

[Source: Miami Herald]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I've read in an article that the Congress added $150bn to the already big $700bn bill; this additional money came in the form of a tax break to the industries that supported republican senators who initially voted against the bill. So they first helped themselves and their friends and, after that, they helped the fools who took that enormous ammount of risk, at the expenses of regular citizens.
      Are the big 3 so near to bankruptcy or the $25bn loan a form of support for who supported the opinion-changing senators?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I've got a question!!!!

      While I support McCain (mostly because I don't have alot of options :( Romney)

      I wonder did he vote yes on this bill? He has stated he would veto any bill that hit his desk as President if it contained earmarks. Well this bill contained 100billion+ in earmarks...

      Politicians... ***k them all.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Senator Schum(ach)er :-)
      • 7 Years Ago
      God Bless America... and our flawless legislative process.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Are the ordinary taxpayers the only ones who aren't being bailed out???

      What is WRONG with this country????
        • 7 Years Ago
        LOs, I agree 99.9%.

        But the .1% that will get you, is if your taxes go up, and all your responsible planning goes out the window.

        What happens when the IRS is the reason you can't afford your house (albeit, grocieries, gas, and other things will take that hit, not the house payment.)

        The horrific thing in all of this is that the government is supposed to be "Of the people, for the people, and by the people."

        Now it really is: "Of the corrupt, for the powerful, by the special interests."

        From the US Declaration of Independence:
        "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."

        Remember or re-read that before going to the polls in one month from now. DO take care of yourself, including your representation in Washington, and in your state and local elections.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Maybe the guy who can't make his house payment should have taken better account of his finances when looking into said home. While there are instances that these are legitimate claims (i.e., unexpected job loss, truly unexpected occurence) for the most part the people who are being foreclosed on didn't have any business buying homes in the first place. This is Washington stroking Wall Street.

        The little guy has no place in this world. I don't know about you, but my momma taught me thati the only person who is going to look after you, is you.
        • 7 Years Ago
        and as i just click on some news, heres a 90yr woman who shoots herself over foreclosure.

        • 7 Years Ago
        yeah, how about the little guy who is on the verge of not being able to make his house payment.

      • 7 Years Ago
      This is just infuriating........no sooner has the bill been passed then it's already being squandered on the most asinine and useless of ventures.
      In these troubled times, who gives a crap about racetracks? of course, this is rhetorical, because a LOT of people care about this utterly useless sport, but when gas is so expensive and out economy has collapsed, it's time for the little boys and girls that like seeing shiny things go round and round to be sent to their room while the grown ups act like grown ups.

      This is like giving $5000 to a needy family who needs to buy food and clothing, and instead they go and buy a big screen tv.

      Speaker: "So, the bill to rescue the people of Springfield, in the great state of...."

      Senator: "oh hold on.....I'd like to tack on a rider to that bill.......$300million of tax payer dollars to support the perverted arts"

      Speaker: "Very well, all in favor of the amended springfield/ pervert bill................bill defeated"

      What's next? $3B to bailout the WWF? because.......um.........well.........ahh.............who cares, just gimme the money!

      • 7 Years Ago
      Charles Schumer is taking advantage of a bad situation.
      His contempt for taxpayers is amazing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You seem not to able to tell the difference between an earmark and a tax break.

      An earmark is an appropriation of Federal funds for a specific program or project. But in this case, it's simply an extension of existing tax laws that allow the track owners to write off taxes they would otherwise pay. They're not getting anything from the government; they're merely saving taxes. I see nothing wrong with taking advantage of tax breaks; indeed, businesses who can save on taxes can then invest that money in improving their business, or offer lower prices to customers. If only the entire "bailout" plan involved lower taxes for everyone!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Disgusting, Its everything I hate about Worthless politicians, a race track is a business no matter which way you look at, if you want to split hairs its not like we can ride in the cars.
      Weve been screwed again.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Right. Basically they gained votes by filling the bill with bribes to gain votes, not by actually changing/removing the issues that were problematic with the bill to begin with.
      • 7 Years Ago
      THANK GOD. Maybe they'll finally add padded seats to the metal grandstands.

      My cornhole could use some comfort as of late.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I was thinking the economy/gas prices/stock market........ but yeah gay bar works too.
        • 7 Years Ago
        BTW, my joke wasn't serious-I just couldn't pass the perfect setup.

        No offense intended

        • 7 Years Ago
        Gay bar?
      • 6 Years Ago
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