Tax breaks for racinos in New Mexico

Feb 24, 2009 5:07 PM
by Ray Poirier | With strong support from New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a bill that grants a special tax break to R.D. Hubbard’s Ruidoso Downs racino sailed through the House last week and now goes to the Senate for action.

The bill lowers the tax on the racino’s net win from the current 26% to 10% on the first $10 million in a year then moves upward to 26% on anything above that figure. Actually, the new law that won’t take effect until July 2010, is available to any track that earns less than $14 million. But, Ruidoso Downs is the only track that qualifies.

Supporters of the bill said the state can’t afford the $11 million loss in revenue if the track were to close. Also, the community of Ruidoso would lose some $29 million in revenue.

Hubbard is the former CEO of Hollywood Park racetrack in California and Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK).

And, in Indiana, a House committee has approved a tax reduction for the Blue Chip Casino, owned by Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD). The bill would provide a $15 million tax deduction over five years.