Edited press release
Companion legislation to the Equine Equity Act, which grants financial concessions to the horse industry, has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives.
U.S. Rep. Ron Lewis of Kentucky introduced the bill Oct. 27. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sen. Jim Bunning, both of Kentucky, sponsored the original legislation in the Senate.
The Equine Equity Act would reduce the capital gains period for horses from 24 months to 12 months, equal to most capital assets. Horses must be held for two years to receive capital gains treatment.
The bill also applies equal depreciation standards for all racehorses, reducing existing parameters to a universal three-year depreciation period. It also incorporates a provision included in the Agriculture Appropriations Conference Report qualifying horses for United States Department of Agriculture disaster assistance programs already available for most other livestock.
"The horse industry is a vital source of tourism and recreation in the commonwealth of Kentucky," Lewis said in a release. "The Equine Equality Act provides critical revisions to federal law as it applies to capital gains, depreciation, and disaster assistance. These changes will assist the horse industry and protect the livelihoods of many men and women in my district and across the country."
"(This legislation) will eliminate the disparate treatment that horse owners and breeders receive under several outdated and ill-conceived federal laws, including the federal tax code," American Horse Council president Jay Hickey said in a release. "The horse industry appreciates Congressman Lewis for recognizing this and initiating a change."
The Equine Equity Act has been a legislative priority of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. NTRA commissioner D.G. Van Clief Jr. said the legislation would "provide immediate aid for horsemen affected by the Gulf Coast hurricanes, as well as long-term tax relief for all racehorse owners and breeders."
Van Clief said the bill also would promote investment and participation in the horse industry.