The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Breaking News

February 15, 2013

Indianapolis speedway state funding plan advances

INDIANAPOLIS — Several state senators praised the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a global icon for Indiana as they endorsed a plan Thursday to provide up to $100 million in public funding toward improvements at the track.

The proposal approved 11-0 by the Senate Appropriations Committee would create a motor sports investment district to collect existing sales, income and corporate taxes generated from IMS property to help finance the planned work.

That district would draw up to $5 million a year from tax collections to pay off bonds over a 20-year period, with the speedway paying about $2 million a year.

Speedway CEO Jeff Belskus said money from the taxing district would help the track obtain financing for a needed modernization.

"Our historical presence and our age are great, but we were built 104 years ago as well, so we are dealing with a facility of that age," he said.

Belskus told the committee that track officials are working on plans for various projects that include $65 million in building, grandstand and traffic improvements, $10 million for better access for the disabled, $25 million for new video boards and $20 million toward lighting for the possible addition of night races.

While the home of IndyCar's Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Brickyard 400 has never sought public funding before, Belskus said newer tracks built in nearby states with state or local subsidies have some better amenities that have drawn away some race fans that used to travel to Indianapolis.

A similar taxing district in downtown Indianapolis has for years helped fund the agency that runs Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the Indiana Convention Center.

None of the Appropriations Committee members raised doubts about the plan during the hearing, and committee Chairman Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, said he believed the state would be a winner in the deal.

"This is an investment which will actually prove profitable for the state in terms of taxes collected based on the successes that I expect the speedway to accomplish," Kenley said. " ... I think the speedway is going to make this a good partnership with the state."

Text Only
Breaking News
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Do you plan to attend any of the local Little 500 Festival events in May?

Yes
No
What events?
     View Results