Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Politics

March 10, 2014

Chances of Raceway rebate still alive

Des Moines — Though the original bill proposed to provide up to $2 million in rebates to the Knoxville Raceway (HF 2281) is technically dead, the idea is still alive and will likely find new life in another bill. 

HF 2281 was proposed in February by Rep. Greg Heartsill. The specific proposal would have provided up to $2 million in sales tax rebates to the Knoxville Raceway to help offset the costs of an expansion project at the track. The Marion County Fair Board is considering an investment of up to $6 million worth of improvements at Knoxville Raceway. 

Plans being considered include a four-story building on the southeast corner of the track where the Skate Pit currently stands, an entry plaza and skywalk to existing stands, additional skyboxes, a rooftop terrace, raceway offices and retail space are also being considered. The Skate Pit would likely be located in the new building or transferred to Dyer-Hudson.

The Journal-Express sought information regarding when the House Ways and Means Committee would be discussing HF 2281. Rep. Guy VanderLinden, who serves on that committee, reported that the rebate could still come up within that committee. 

Dave Schrader, a lobbyist for the Fair Board, said that House Speaker Kraig Paulsen considers the rebate to be alive. The language in the bill may be transferred to a study bill for consideration later in the session. Committee chairs can request such study bills at any time during the session. 

Schrader and VanderLinden both believe that the Knoxville Raceway's rebate will eventually pass the House before the session concludes. 

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