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F1 Organizers Get $29.3 Million From State Comptroller

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The Texas Comptroller has paid the organizers of Austin’s Formula 1 race more than $29 million from the state’s Major Events Trust Fund.

The trust fund uses tax revenues generated by an event to cover expenses related to the event.

“We pay them back $29.3 million because we’re saying, basically, that there’s been an incremental tax increase of $29.3 million so we’re going to let you have that money to pay you back for expenses that you had bringing the event here," Lauren Willis, director of communications for the Texas Comptroller, says.

In this case, that includes the F1 sanctioning fee, temporary seating, and shuttle bus planning and operations.

While the amount to be distributed from the trust fund is agreed upon before the event, the payout happens afterwards.

"We have to see the invoices and tie them back to make sure that they are related to the event and signed by the appropriate people and that they're tied to the event support contract and that sort of thing," Willis says.

The amount of $29.3 million is based on an estimate of tax revenue generated by F1. The actual economic impact is still being studied.

“We are required now to do a post event economic study within 18 months of the event," Willis says. “That study will inform estimates and projections for future events and will help see the overall effectiveness of the Major Events Trust Fund program.”

Willis expects the study won’t take 18 months to complete. She says the results will affect how much money F1 organizers will get if they reapply for money from the fund for future races.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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