Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Politics

March 15, 2014

Sinclair: Raceway rebate has strong Senate support

Knoxville — Sen. Amy Sinclair (R-Allerton) believes that there is strong bipartisan support for a proposed $2 million sales tax rebate program for the Knoxville Raceway. 

The Marion County Fair Association, owners of the Knoxville Raceway, is planning a $4-6 million investment into the track. Former Rep. Dave Schrader was hired as a lobbyist for the track this legislative session. Schrader is working with legislators on a proposed $2 million sales tax rebate.

Rep. Greg Heartsill introduced legislation in the House of Representatives for this rebate. Heartsill, Schrader and other House members are confident that the rebate will pass before the end of the session.

Sinclair reports that Schrader has been in discussions with Sen. Bill Dix on legislation in the Senate. In her conversations with Dix, she says he is supportive of the project, recognizing the economic and tourism impact the track has on the state. 

The Iowa Speedway in Newton, owned by NASCAR, has received such a rebate in the past and has sought further state incentives this session. Sinclair believes that there is a difference between Knoxville Raceway's request and Iowa Speedway's.

"There is a very distinct difference," Sinclair said. This is because the Fair Association is a nonprofit fair board, while NASCAR is a billion-dollar, for profit business. 

2014 Accomplishments

Regardless of any action on race track incentives, Sinclair believes that the biggest accomplishments of the 2014 session is the increased penalties for kidnappers. Another accomplishment is the work done to protect seniors. The Legislature approved "Senior Alerts" this year, which spread messages to the public when an older Iowan goes missing. 

Legislation this year also gives seniors and their families a choice in whom provides their in-home care. The intention of this law is to help seniors stay in their own homes as long as possible. 

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