By Adam Tate, Managing Editor
American Formula One fans rejoice! Recent troubles that have put the US Grand Prix’s fate at stake may have been averted by a recent settlement.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, Circuit of the Americas has reached a settlement with the Travis County Central Appraisal District that has lowered the 2015 appraised value of the circuit by over $180,000,000. The move, pushed for by COTA bosses since 2014 will see the track save millions of dollars in property taxes. Enough to recoup the losses from state funding and cover the F1 sanction fee for October’s Grand Prix.
The complicated battle has been on going since 2014 when the track sued the District stating that they had massively over-valued the worth of the venue at $273,000,000. A move that was either indicative of the initial optimism state and county leaders felt of the revenue the track would bring to the area, or a deliberate ploy to grab as many tax dollars from the facility as possible.
The new deal has also retroactively lowered the values the District set for the facility in 2013 and 2014. When combined with the devaluation for 2015, the estimated savings add up to approximately $13,000,000.
After loosing money on last year’s Grand Prix when torrential weather drenched the circuit and kept many fans at bay, and suffering damage from said floods, the freeing up of new funds is exactly what the track needs.
Both COTA Chairman Bobby Epstein and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone are confident that the race will run as scheduled.
Let’s hope lots of people flock to the track for this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge races (we will be there!) and for other upcoming races and concerts to help ensure the crown jewel in COTA’s schedule can come back bigger and better than ever.