Edited Florida Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Release — Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law House Bill 7063, the 2023-24 tax package that includes vital provisions for Florida’s Thoroughbred industry. This bill provides $27.5 million to be reserved for purses, racing awards and operations at Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs each year for the next two years. In addition, the two tracks will be provided tax credits to offset the cost of the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety (HISA) program in Florida; the HISA assessment for Florida for 2023 is $5.9 million.
This monumental legislation is not possible without the work of Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, Speaker of the House Paul Renner, Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson, Senator Blaise Ingoglia, Chairman of the Senate Finance and Tax Committee, Senator Jason Pizzo, representing Broward County, and the tireless efforts of State Representative Lawrence McClure, Chairman of the House State Affairs Committee, and State Representative Stan McClain, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
“Our organization represents more than 6,000 owners and trainers who do business in the State of Florida,” Florida Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association President Joe Orseno said. “We worked hard in Tallahassee this Session to ensure the collective voice of our membership was heard. On behalf of our horsemen and women, we thank Governor DeSantis, Senate President Passidomo, Speaker Paul Renner, and the legislators who championed this measure on our behalf.
“We also thank 1/ST RACING President of Racing and Business Development Stephen Screnci and the team at Gulfstream Park for being at the forefront of this endeavor,” Orseno added. “Our collaboration with 1/ST RACING in the state’s Capitol this year was truly momentous.”
According to a study by the American Horse Council, Florida’s Thoroughbred industry has a $2.7 billion economic impact and creates more than 23,000 jobs in the state. From the racetracks to the training centers to the breeding farms to the horse retirement facilities, there are nearly 100,000 Thoroughbreds stabled across every county in Florida.