Najja Thompson, CEO of New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc., issued the following legislative update on Monday:
After two weeks of budget negotiations, early on Saturday morning, April 9, the vote was over and New York State’s Fiscal Year 2023 state budget was finalized.
Below, you’ll find state budget updates that include protections for horse racing and the thoroughbred breeding industry.
We are grateful and appreciate the support of Governor Kathy Hochul, Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. (D-15), Chairman of the New York Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Gambling, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, Jr. (D -89), Chairman of the State Assembly Committee on Racing and Gambling, and all members of the New York State Senate and Assembly who continue to recognize the importance of horse racing to the New York State economy.
NYTB and our legislative affairs team in Albany continue to work on your behalf to ensure New York’s Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry continues to be the best in the nation.
We will continue our work together with the New York Thoroughbred Jockeys Association (NYTHA), New York Racing Association (NYRA), Finger Lakes Jockeys Benevolent and Protective Association (FLHPBA) and coalition partners We Are New York Horse Racing to ensure our voice is heard.
New York Fiscal Year 2023 State Budget Thoroughbred Breeding and Horse Racing Industry Updates
- FINANCIAL PROTECTIONS FOR HORSE RACING: The budget includes financial protections to ensure that revenue-sharing payments now made by video lottery terminal gaming operators are not reduced or eliminated if those facilities are licensed to become gaming casinos complete. The legislation maintains racing financial support payments from video lottery terminal processes, should an existing VLT facility, such as those at Aqueduct Racetrack, obtain a new full casino license, at the same levels as in 2019. Annual adjustments would be made based on the consumer price index. These racing support payments for existing VLT machines fund NYRA’s on-track stock account, the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, and capital improvement projects at NYRA.
- IMPROVEMENT OF TAX CREDITS FOR FARMERS – The budget modifies the Tax Law to improve the investment tax credit (ITC). Currently, the ITC is equal to four percent of the investment credit base under personal income tax or 5 percent of the first $350 million of the investment credit base and four percent of the investment credit base of more than $350 million under the corporate franchise tax. This subpart would increase the credit under both taxes to 20 percent of the investment credit base for eligible farmers for property used primarily by the farmer in the production of agricultural goods, horticulture, floriculture, or viticulture.
- DOUBLES THE FARM WORKFORCE TAX CREDIT: Doubles the amount per employee for the Farm Workforce Retention Credit. This credit would start for fiscal year 2021 and run through 2026.
- OVERTIME TAX CREDIT FOR AGRICULTURAL EMPLOYERS: Creates a refundable tax credit for overtime wages between 40 and 60 hours of work per week. Eligible farms are corporations, sole proprietors, partnerships or LLCs. You can request the early return of the credit after July 31 and before November 31. The request will be made to the Department of Agriculture and Markets, who will verify the request and send it to the Department of the Treasury and Finance for payment. Farms can then claim a second refund for the remainder of the tax year on their annual tax returns. Farmers will be reimbursed up to 118 percent of their overtime expenses to account for payroll loan withholding and interest.
- ENFORCEMENT OF THE CLEAN WATER, CLEAN AIR, AND GREEN JOBS ENVIRONMENTAL BONDS ACT: Amends the old “Restore Mother Nature Bond Act” to be renamed the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022 The total amount of the general obligation bonds would be $4,200,000,000. This includes, among other funds, $150 million for farmland protection and $1.5 billion for climate change adaptation. The project will be subject to prevailing wage requirements. Large projects using more than $25 million will be subject to labor peace agreements.
- FRESHWATER WETLANDS REGULATION PROGRAM – Allows DEC to regulate freshwater wetlands at least 7.4 acres in size, or if less than 12.4 acres, the wetland is considered to be of “unusual importance.”
Lands that are in active agricultural and forestry use that are engaged in activities such as grazing and watering livestock, making reasonable use of water resources, harvesting natural products from wetlands, selectively cutting timber, and draining wetlands for agricultural products would be excluded. of obtaining a permit.
However, structures that are not for the improvement or maintenance of agricultural activities would not be exempt. In addition, if the land qualifies as a wetland and agricultural or forestry activities end there, it will be subject to the wetland regulations.
DEC will no longer rely on wetland maps, but will instead continue to delineate wetland boundaries as needed.
This waiver goes into effect on January 1, 2025.
- CAPITAL BUDGET
$5 million for county fair projects
$5 million for CALS climate adaptation research farms for applied infrastructure and demonstration projects
New horse and sheep barn construction at state fair
There is a perpetual need to defend our sport and industry. NYTB will continue our work on your behalf and also appreciates your support in these efforts.