As the Kentucky breeding industry continues to suggest it's under siege from competition in other states, legislation that would shift millions of dollars in existing tax revenue into a Thoroughbred breed development program looms a good possibility for 2005.
Two Central Kentucky legislators who have been active in raising the profile of the horse industry among the state General Assembly retained their seats in the Nov. 2 election.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project, which is yet to devise a legislative agenda, will let its still-evolving board of directors decide whether alternative gaming will be on its wish list, a representative said Sept. 8 during a meeting of the state Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Kentucky Sen. Damon Thayer, also an executive with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup, has been appointed Senate chairman of the state Task Force on Economic Development.
The Kentucky equine industry, for the first time, will be the focus of a September meeting of the state General Assembly's Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, legislators announced July 14.
A bloodstock agent, a trainer, and an auction company representative told Kentucky legislators during a Nov.12 subcommittee hearing at the state capitol that the 6% sales tax charged to Kentucky residents on horse purchases should be repealed and that purses distributed at Kentucky racetracks needs to grow along with other states if Kentucky expects to remain the central point of the Thoroughbred industry.
Representatives of Kentucky businesses that derive substantial revenue from the horse industry told state legislators Sept. 10 the health of the Thoroughbred breeding industry and their bottom lines are closely linked.
Thoroughbred breeders told Kentucky legislators Aug. 21 the state must step up and offer assistance if its signature industry is to stabilize and grow in years to come.
With an economic impact pegged at about $3.4 billion, the equine industry has been called the most important in Kentucky. Some legislators would like to keep it healthy--even help it grow--but they've acknowledged they don't have all the answers.
Kentucky's equine industry will be the focus June 18 when the recently formed Subcomittee on Horse Farming of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources holds its first meeting.
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