July 13, 2016
Blood-Horse Staff

Two members of Congress who support pari-mutuel tax changes submitted a joint letter July 12 urging the United States Department of Treasury to finalize new language.

The House earlier passed the 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which includes “Guidelines for Pari-Mutuel Winnings.” The proposed regulations redefine the amount of a wager to include all of a bettor’s investment into a single pari-mutuel pool rather than the base amount of the winning combination.

The House Appropriations Committee urged the Treasury Department to expedite the regulations, which are included in a Senate version of the bill that cleared committee.

In their letter to the Treasury Department, Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky and Republican Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. of Louisiana encouraged the department and the Internal Revenue Service to “modernize the pari-mutuel tax treatment by altering the definition of a bet or wager to better reflect today’s pari-mutuel wagering products.”

The congressmen said the proposed guidelines have bipartisan support, and that pari-mutuel wagering supports “tens of thousands of jobs from the farm to the racetrack.”

In 2015 there were about 12,000 comments submitted to the Treasury and IRS in support of the proposed change.