INDIANAPOLIS | Lawmakers have replaced a Senate-approved plan giving $100 million in state funds to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a $200 million loan program fueled by slot-machine revenue from central Indiana's casinos.
The House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday revised Senate Bill 91 to loan IMS $100 million for improvements to the grandstands, grounds and facilities at the home of the annual Indianapolis 500 auto race.
The track would not be required to directly repay the money. Instead, any increase in the amount of state sales or income tax revenue generated at the track would be credited against the loan.
In addition, spectators would be charged a new 2- to 6-percent fee on race ticket purchases that also would be put toward the loan.
There is no loan due date in the legislation, but it must be repaid immediately if the track is sold.
The second $100 million loan fund would be administered by the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the state's commerce department, and could be accessed by any motorsports-related business in the state. The IEDC would set interest rates and terms for the loans.
Money for both loan funds would come from $10 million in annual gaming revenue generated at the two horse track casinos near Indianapolis that is currently used to boost horse race purses.
Senate Bill 528, which was rewritten by the same committee, redirects that money to the auto racing loan funds and allows $5 million in loans from each fund for up to 20 years.
That revision also increased the amount of free, promotional play exempt from gaming taxes at all Indiana casinos to $3 million for the 2014 budget year and $5 million in 2015.
Both measures now advance to the full House. If approved, they are certain to go to a House-Senate conference committee for further revisions.