Governor Culver signed legislation this week that should make it easier for the Iowa Speedway racetrack in Newton to expand. The measure will let the speedway continue to enjoy a refund of the sales taxes it collects, even though out-of-state investors will own a greater share of the track.
State Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, says more outside investment is needed to upgrade the speedway. "In order for the Iowa Speedway to get the major races like the Craftsman’s Truck Series, and the possibility in the next near future of what they call the Cup Series Race, the Speedway’s going to have to make some investments and improvements," Dotzler said.
To attract initial investments, the state offered to give back the first 10 years worth of sales taxes as long as the track remained 60% Iowa-owned. The legislation signed by the governor reduces that to 25%. The sales tax break is capped at $12.5 million.
Dotzler, who holds season tickets at the Iowa Speedway, says without more outside investment the facility won’t grow. "They’ve had some great races there and they’ve got great, nationally-known people who designed it, built it and are managing it," Dotzler said.
"We need to take it to the next level and that’s why this bill is so important to attract some investment from outside the state."