Government Relations. Why do we need it? And Why Now?
One of the major roles of the USMA is to provide government relations support for all forms of motorsports. You may ask the question “why” and more importantly, why now? There are two primary reasons: First, now is the time to inform elected officials about the many economic benefits of motorsports across our country. Recently, the USMA has begun an effort to invite elected officials to racing events. Many of them have never attended a motorsports event to witness the excitement of racing.
Motorsports provides economic value. Fan entertainment is just the beginning. Advanced technology, improved vehicle safety, industry marketing/branding, tourism, STEM programs, and technical skills job training are just some of the added public benefits from motorsports. Now is the time to tell public officials our story.
Second, motorsports is currently under threat. Environmental issues affect racing. Engine noise, fuel types used, dust, and air quality are just a few of the areas in motorsports where environmental regulations affect racing activities on a daily basis. Land use and local zoning laws restrict motorsports venues and events. Municipal governments have the authority to restrict racing activities to specific zoning districts such as industrial or agricultural zones. Motorsports organizations must comply with local regulations to obtain event permits.
You might not think taxes affect motorsports but they do. Federal tax depreciation laws, state sales taxes, and local amusement taxes can make it more difficult to conduct racing events. We must tell our elected officials about the cost of taxes on our industry and how the public benefits from this additional tax revenue.
In future articles we will provide specific examples of how government regulates the motorsports industry. We will ask you the racer, pit crew member, small business owner, industry professional, and fan to help us spread our message to your public officials.
What can you do to help? The First step is to become a Registered Member of the USMA. If you have any questions or specific concerns about your area of racing I can be reached at the email address below.
Thank you for your advocacy,
Robert Johnson, USMA - Director of Public Affairs