Illinois Race Tracks May Face New Tax

Jacksonville Speedway is one of 41 Illinois race tracks that could suffer under a proposed tax in the Midwestern state. (Mark Funderburk Photo)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Race tracks in the state of Illinois may have another challenge facing them by the time the season opens in a few months.

As part of an amendment to Illinois Senate Bill 9 that was filed Jan. 24 by Senator Toi W. Hutchinson, ticket buyers at race tracks would be taxed under a new “amusement tax” that not only affect race tracks, but other sporting events, golf courses, athletic clubs or any other business that charges an admission fee.

The proposed tax would be five percent on all ticket fees, which could translate to higher admission prices.

“When we have 5 or 700 people here in a night at 10 or 15 dollars a piece, we estimate it would probably be about a $15,000 a year added expense for us,” Jacksonville Speedway promoter Ken Dobson told “In the race track business, there’s not an extra $15,000 in the budget.”

The tax proposal was one of many proposed by lawmakers as the attempt to balance the state’s budget.

According to the 2016 edition of the National Speedway Directory, there were 41 tracks operating in the state last year.