April 2017
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2017 RACE DATES

MEADOWLANDS - Post Time 7:15pm
March 17 - August 5, 2017
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September 8 - September 16, 2017
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November 17 - December 2, 2017
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December 7 - December 30, 2017
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FREEHOLD - Post Time 12:30pm
March 31 - May 6, 2017
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September 1 - December 9, 2017
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Special Race Day Monday September 4, 2017

December 28 - December 30, 2017
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CONGRESS PASSES THREE-YEAR TAX DEPRECIATION & H-2B VISA IMPROVEMENTS

American Horse Council

-- Abridged releases courtesy of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association

LEXINGTON, KY -- December 18, 2015 – Important tax incentives for horse owners – including a key provision that extends three-year tax depreciation for all racehorses through 2016 – were passed by Congress on Friday, December 18, 2015, as part of comprehensive budget and tax legislation.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 maintains the three-year recovery period for racehorse purchases.

The provision allows taxpayers to depreciate, on a three-year schedule, racehorses 24 months of age and younger when purchased and placed into service, as opposed to a seven-year schedule. The accelerated schedule better reflects the length of a typical racehorse’s career and is more equitable for owners.

The PATH Act also retroactively extends two other provisions that spur investment in racehorses and depreciable farm equipment.

“Bonus depreciation” will remain set at 50 percent and may be used by business owners who purchase and place in service qualified new depreciable property. Yearlings that an owner purchases and puts into a training program are one example of eligible property. Bonus depreciation is set at 50% for 2015, 2016 and 2017, at 40% for 2018 and at 30% for 2019.

The “Section 179 expense allowance” will be set at $500,000, with a $2 million threshold for qualified new or used property purchased and placed in service by small business owners in many industries. Total purchases of qualified property that exceed $2 million reduce the taxpayer’s expense allowance dollar for dollar.

Broodmares may be eligible for expensing and are an example of used property because of their prior use as a racehorse or broodmare. The comprehensive budget and tax legislation will make the Section 179 expense allowance incentive permanent at this level.

CONGRESS PASSES H-2B VISA IMPROVEMENTS

Relief for H-2B visa employers such as horse trainers was approved by Congress as part of the omnibus appropriations bill passed earlier today.

The provisions include:

• H-2B returning workers are exempt from the annual 66,000 H-2B cap;

• Those paying H-2B wages are allowed the use of private wage surveys, which are not allowed under current H-2B rules;

• Seasonal employment is clearly defined as 10 months of employment, as opposed to nine months in the current H-2B rules;

• The Department of Labor (DOL) is prevented from implementing the provisions of current H-2B rules related to corresponding employment and the 3/4 guarantee requiring a set number of work hours; and

• DOL is prohibited from implementing a burdensome new enforcement scheme related to auditing of employers and certifying officer (CO) assisted recruitment.

The H-2B visa program is used by many industries, including horse racing, to access temporary seasonal workers when domestic help is unavailable. Horse trainers typically use the program to hire grooms and other barn help. The lack of documented H-2B workers has significantly hindered the ability of horsemen to hire qualified backstretch employees.

President Obama is expected to sign these bills into law shortly.
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