AZ Dept of Racing Budget misleading
What does $2,029,500 buy?
What’s a nice girl like me reading the Arizona Department of Racing (ADOR) budget 2013? This document is part mystery and part a waste of the paper it’s printed on. It’s a dog and pony show. Read on…
To regulate and supervise pari-mutuel racing and wagering conducted in Arizona in order to protect racing participants and the wagering public. To regulate and supervise boxing and mixed martial arts events conducted in Arizona to protect all participants in those events.
According to the report, during fiscal year 2013, the Department (ADOR) regulated and supervised live and simulcast horse and greyhound racing at two commercial horse tracks, two greyhound race tracks, two county fair race meetings, and 62 teletracking locations throughout Arizona. The total pari-mutuel handle was $165.4 million, a $5.3 million decrease or a 3.1% less from the prior year. The total pari-mutuel tax receipts amounted to $234,628, a decrease of almost 1% from 2012.
The report also states, “FY 2013, the Department also fully removed on dependence from the General Fund to 100% industry funding. The change in funding source has allowed the agency to move forward in a more stable and effective manner while doing its part to ease the pressure and demand on scarce state resources.” (Letter dated 9-30-13 letter to Honorable Governor Jan Brewer from Director Walsh – 1st page after symbol)
In a perfect world – maybe – but keep reading…you have to get into the bowels of this document to learn otherwise…
Breeders Awards – Commercial Horse Racing
When monies are available, the Department promotes horse breeding in Arizona through the administration and distribution of funds available through the Breeders’ Award Program. No monies were appropriated for this fund in FY 2011 and FY 2012. In 2013, 138 breeders received $206,000 (Page 11)
County Fair Racing
The Department of Racing is responsible for regulating and supervising all county fair horse racing meetings, providing staff to operate race meetings, conducting investigations, issuing licenses, conducting equine and human drug testing, overseeing wagering, conducting hearings on investigation referrals, and collecting revenues for the State.
When funding is available, County Fair racing receives funding from the County Fair Racing Fund and the County Fair Racing Betterment Fund. No monies have been appropriated for these funds since FY 2010. Only two fairs conducted live racing in FY 2013. (Page 16)
Breeders’ Awards – Greyhound Racing
When monies are available, the Department promotes greyhound breeding in Arizona through the administration and distribution of funds available through the Breeders’ Awards Program. No monies were appropriated for this fund in FY 2011 and 2012.
In 2013, $44,000 was awarded to 3 active greyhound racing breeders. (Page 21)
Financial Report (this is where it gets slick and this is what makes the rest of us not trust AZ government)
Department of Racing Budget
“The Department of Racing is no longer using General Fund monies for its day-to-day operations. Beginning in FY 2013, employees’ salaries and benefits were all paid with monies in the Racing Regulation Fund. Revenues in this fund come primarily from the regulatory wagering assessment (RWA). All other operational expenses, including drug testing, are also paid with monies in the Regulation Fund. We expect to receive enough revenue in the Regulation Fund to cover the $2.9 million appropriation from the fund.”
“The Department has also received two General Fund appropriations for specific purposes. In the past, we’ve transferred $1.8 million for county fairs livestock and agricultural promotion to a fund administered by the Governor’s Office. We did that again in FY 2014. The Department also has a $250,000 General Fund appropriation intended solely for Arizona breeders’ awards. Those monies will be distributed quarterly throughout FY 2014.” (Page 28)
Does this sound like double talk to you?
On the first page of this report, it’s expressly stated “FY 2013, the Department also fully removed on dependence from the General Fund to 100% industry funding. The change in funding source has allowed the agency to move forward in a more stable and effective manner while doing its part to ease the pressure and demand on scarce state resources.”
If you have the stomach to actually delve into the nitty-gritty, you do find that the General Fund is indeed still funding a huge part of Arizona Department of Racing regardless of what it says on page 1!
What does $2,029,500 million buy?
$206,000 for 138 race horse breeders’ awards
$44,000 for 3 racing greyhound breeders’ awards
$1,779,500 for County Fairs Livestock and Agricultural Promotion
What does $2,029,500 million buy?
–How about some better safety equipment for 20 HOT SHOT fire fighters?
–How about keeping the Grand Canyon open during a government shut down?
I bet you can think of 10 more meaningful ways to spend $2,029,500 than promoting agricultural & livestock (which is not even in the Arizona Department of Racing’s mission statement) and giving a quarter of a million dollars ($250,000) to horse and greyhound racing breeders.
The operating budget for ADOR is $4,925,000 and $2,895,000 comes out of their own Regulation Fund but $2,029,500 comes out of the General Fund that should serve the people for safety and education not promoting livestock and rewarding greyhound racing breeders and horse racing breeders. Let them pay out of their own purse and wagering money – NOT THE PEOPLE’S MONEY.
No wonder Arizona is so screwed up!
Now is the time to send a message to your legislators and let them know how $2,029,500 can be better spent. What is meaningful to you? Speak out! Write letters to the editors to Tucson and Phoenix newspapers.
Arizona Department of Racing Budget – Part 2 – coming soon