NYTB Legislative Update: State Budget Includes Financial Protections For Horse Racing by Press Release|04.11.2022|3:16pm Najja Thompson, executive director of the the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc., issued the following legislative update on Monday: Following two weeks of budget negotiations, early Saturday morning on April 9, voting was finished and the New York State Fiscal Year 2023 State Budget was finalized. Below, please find updates from the state budget which includes protection for horse racing and the Thoroughbred breeding industry. We are thankful and appreciate the support of Governor Kathy Hochul, Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. (D-15), chair of the New York Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, Assembly member Gary Pretlow, Jr. (D-89), chair of the State Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee, and all members of the New York Senate and State 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 carry on with our work alongside the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, (NYTHA), the New York Racing Association (NYRA), Finger Lakes Horsemen's Protective and Benevolent Association (FLHPBA), and We Are New York Horse Racing coalition partners to ensure our voice is heard. New York Fiscal Year 2023 State Budget Thoroughbred Breeding Industry & Horse Racing Updates FINANCIAL PROTECTIONS FOR HORSE RACING – The budget includes financial protections to ensure there will be no reduction or elimination of revenue-sharing payments that go now from video lottery terminal gambling operators if those facilities win licenses to become full gaming casinos. The legislation maintains racing financial support payments from video lottery terminal processes – in the event an existing VLT facility, such as those at Aqueduct Racetrack gets 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 from existing VLT machines fund the purse account on the NYRA circuit, the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund, and capital improvement projects at NYRA. ENHANCES TAX CREDITS FOR FARMERS – The budget amends the Tax Law to enhance the investment tax credit (ITC). Currently, the ITC is equal to four percent of the investment credit base under the personal income tax or 5 percent of the first $350 million of the investment credit base and four percent of the investment credit base 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 principally used by the farmer in production of goods by farming, agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, or viticulture. DOUBLES FARM WORKFORCE TAX CREDIT – Doubles the per employee amount for the farm workforce retention credit. This credit would start for the 2021 tax year and be extended through 2026. FARM EMPLOYER OVERTIME TAX CREDIT – Creates a refundable tax credit for overtime wages between 40 and 60 hours of work per week. Eligible farms are corporations, sole proprietor, partnerships, or LLC. An advanced refund for the credit can be applied for after July 31 and before November 31. The application will be made to the Department of Agriculture and Markets who will verify the request and send over to the Department of Taxation and Finance for payment. Farms can then submit for a second refund for the rest of the tax year on their annual tax filings. Farmers will be reimbursed up to 118 percent of their overtime expenses to account for withholdings and interest on payroll loans. IMPLEMENTATION OF CLEAN WATER, CLEAN AIR AND GREEN JOBS ENVIROMENTAL BOND ACT – Amends former “Restore Mother Nature Bond Act” to rename it the Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022. Total amount of general obligations bonds would be $4,200,000,000. This includes, among other funding, $150 million for farmland protection and $1.5 billion for climate change adaption. Project will be subject to prevailing wage requirements. Large projects using over $25 million will be subject labor peace agreements. FRESHWATER WETLANDS REGULATORY PROGRAM – Allows DEC to regulate freshwater wetlands at least 7.4 acres in size, or if less than 12.4 acres, the wetland is deemed of “Unusual Importance”. Lands that are in active agricultural and silvicultural use that engage in activities such as grazing and watering livestock, making reasonable use of water resources, harvest natural products out of the wetlands, selectively cut timber, and drain wetlands for agricultural products would be excluded from obtaining a permit. However, structures that are not for the enhancement or maintenance of the agricultural activities would not be exempt. Additionally, if the land qualifies as a wetland and the agricultural or silviculture activities end on that land, it is to be subjected to wetland regulations. DEC will no longer rely on wetland maps, but will continue to delineate wetland boundaries as needed. This exemption goes into effect January 1, 2025. CAPITAL BUDGET $5 million for county fair projects $5 million for CALS climate adaptive research farms for applied infrastructure and demonstration projects New state fair horse and sheep barn construction There is a perpetual need for advocacy for our sport and industry. NYTB will continue our work on your behalf and also appreciates your support in these efforts.