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Senator pulls bill that would have taxed horse tracks "out of existence"

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A bill that horse tracks say would have taxed them out of existence has been pulled from the legislature.

State Senator Robert Hilkemann of Omaha withdrew his bill, LB 667, Wednesday in light of concerns about the potential consequences of the bill’s passage.

The bill would have ended a tax exemption on wagering at horse tracks.

“I introduced this bill to have a discussion on tax exemptions,” Sen. Hilkemann said. “My intention was not for the bill to hurt the horse racing industry, and I certainly do not want to see horse racing end in Nebraska.”

On their Facebook page, Nebraska Horseman had said the bill would increase taxes on the state's tracks by approximately $2.5 million.

"This would essentially tax our industry out of existence," the HBPA said.

The industry group hired a lobbyist.

“After several conversations with representatives from horse race tracks, along with my constituents and other Nebraskans, I have decided to withdraw this bill,” Sen. Hilkemann said. “I am fully committed to a deep review of our tax system, to ensure that Nebraska is serving the taxpayers wisely.”

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