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Legislator’s tax push could lead to increased ticket prices at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

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If you plan on attending next year’s NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, you may have to dig a little deeper in your wallet.

Nevada Assembly Minority Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick is seeking to increase the state entertainment tax on all live events – including NASCAR races – from six to eight percent, according to a report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Such a move would bring events such as NASCAR races, the Electric Daisy Carnival concerts, the National Finals Rodeo, boxing events and outdoor festivals into conformence with the existing eight percent tax rate for other events, including strip clubs.

If the measure passes after hearings during next month’s legislative session, Assembly Bills 392 and 393 would go into effect July 1.

Kirkpatrick calls the proposed initiative the “Luxury Discretionary Spending Tax.” Among examples the Review-Journal cited were a VIP Tier 1 ticket to the 2015 Electric Daisy Carnival would cost $700, of which approximately $60 would be from the proposed tax hike.

In analyzing the move, Review-Journal reporter Sean Whaley wrote:

“Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, said the idea is to capture tax revenue for costly entertainment events that most average Nevadans cannot afford to attend while excluding more modest forms of entertainment, from movies to bowling to swimming at the municipal pool to a round of golf.”

The newspaper then quoted Kirkpatrick as saying,

“These are luxuries that no everyday, middle-class, blue-collar worker is going to be able to do. It is really just to ensure that Nevadans who don’t go to these big extravagant things; that their quality of life is protected.”

In a statement to NASCAR Talk, Las Vegas Motor Speedway president and general manager Chris Powell said the track opposes the tax increase.

“We at Las Vegas Motor Speedway are opposed to the proposed modification of the live entertainment tax in Nevada,” Powell said. “States around the country have for years granted speedways incentives because of the economic benefits brought by major racing events.

“Our spring NASCAR weekend annually pumps more than $200 million into our state’s economy, and many of the dollars spent by race fans – who come from all 50 states – already are taxed. Race fans drive millions of dollars into the state when it collects taxes on hotel rooms, sales and gaming, among other taxes. We believe this tax modification is bad for our state.”

Powell also told NASCAR Talk that if the tax increase is passed, it would affect ticket prices.

“We’re already selling tickets for next year’s race (without the tax, obviously),” Powell said. “But if it does pass, yes, the ticket price would increase accordingly.”

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