Chairman of the Bipartisan Congressional Horse Caucus:
- The caucus brings together Members of Congress interested in the horse industry and provides a forum to focus on the effect of government policies on the equine industry and collaborate with industry participants from across the country.
Authoring Legislation to Advance Kentucky’s Signature Thoroughbred Industry:
- Introduced H.R. 2651- the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act, which would facilitate the development and implementation of a national, uniform anti-doping program for Thoroughbred horseracing. The legislation authorizes the creation of a nongovernmental, independent anti-doping authority charged with ensuring fair and safe competition within the horseracing industry at no cost to taxpayers.
Tax Cuts for the Equine Industry:
- Introduced/Enacted H.R. 1806 - the Race Horse Expensing Certainty Act – this legislation allows all investments in racehorses to be immediately expensed consistent with Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code. It was included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and provides clarity that horse owners can immediately deduct the full cost of their investment upon purchasing a horse put into service as a race horse.
- Introduced/Enacted H.R. 1804 - the Race Horse Cost Recovery Act- this legislation allows all race horses, regardless of their age when they are placed into training, to be eligible for a 3-year depreciation schedule. The enacted Bipartisan Budget Act retroactively allows for the 3-year depreciation of horses for 2017 and the enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allows for immediate expensing going forward beginning in 2018.
Successfully Fought for Modernized Regulations on Pari-Mutual Proceeds:
- Submitted questions to Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew in conjunction with the Secretary’s appearance before the House Financial Services Committee in March 2015 to advocate for modernizing tax treatment of pari-mutual proceeds.
- The Treasury Department announced new regulations in September 2017 that will drastically reduce the number of winning tickets that require withholding and reporting. These new rules are expected to be widely beneficial to all segments of the horseracing industry.
Advanced Deposit Wagering:
- Fought to broaden financial institution’s acceptance of advance deposit wagering platforms to increase fan participation in wagering.
- The fastest growing segment of the pari-mutuel wagering market is wagering activity conducted online through what is commonly known as advance deposit wagering (ADW). This online wagering is legal in the U.S. as provided through the Interstate Horseracing Act (15 U.S.C. §3002(3)), a statute originally enacted in 1978, as amended by §629, 114 Stat. 2762-108.
- After hearing from constituents who were blocked from these types of legal transactions, Rep. Barr sent letters to JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Capital One asking them to allow their customers to use their credit cards for advance deposit wagering.
- JP Morgan now allows customers to use Chase Credit cards for ADW.
- By allowing these lawful transactions, more horseracing fans will be able to take advantage of online wagering availability and banks will be able to attract more customers and participate in a large market of transactions.
Advocating for Expanded and Reformed Guest Worker Programs:
- Co-sponsored H.R. 6417- the AG and Legal Workforce Act – this legislation would alleviate pressure on horse trainers and managers who use H2-B visas by categorizing them as ‘Agricultural’ workers and allowing them to qualify for the new H2-C visas created in this bill. The H-2C program will serve the diverse interests of the agriculture industry. In addition to meeting seasonal agricultural labor needs, the adaptable H-2C program will support year round agricultural employers, such as aquaculture operations, dairies, raw food processors, forestry-related activities, and others.
- Cosponsored H.R. 2004, the Strengthen Employment and Seasonal Opportunity Now (SEASON) Act- this legislation amends the Immigration Nationality Act to provide that returning H-2B visa aliens (temporary nonagricultural worker) who has already counted toward the applicable numerical limitation during a fiscal year: (i) is not counted toward limitation during each succeeding consecutive fiscal year in which the alien is issued an H-2B visa; and (ii) shall be considered a returning worker.
Supported Market Access Program:
- Cosponsored H.R. 2321- the CREAATE Act- This legislation amends the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 to extend through FY2023 the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program, which are programs administered by the Department of Agriculture to promote exports of U.S. agricultural products.