Reflections: Commissioners Concerned Over Strikes; Moyer Says People Must Be Protected; Stimulation, Taxation Also Discussed; Many Warn Against Trend to Over-Taxation, Daily Racing Form, 1953-06-12


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REFLECTIONS BY NELSON BOSTON Mass June 11 From the opening of the convention of the National Association of State Racing Commissioners it was obvious that many of the delegates present were concerned with the recent controver ¬ sies between the Horsemens Benevo ¬ lent and Protective Association and andTO TO ninor occ0ciatiOnS Tn iic o1nrmr o address president Tom Testa of the NASRC said I think we can all agree that recent misunderstandings in various parts of the country have not been beneficial to racing Yet I submit that a vast majority of those engaged in the sport are hopeful that a means will be found to adjudicate these differences that arise from time to time because they result in strikes or undue publicity which could seri ¬ ously injure the sport Testa went on to say there were many complications that make it impossible to create a national board to adjudicate them Closely following Testa the Illinois commissioner Frank Wartpn gave a studied welldelivered talk on many racing subjects in ¬ cluding uniform rules but eventually he too got around to the recent disputes that have caused grave concern with those who love the sport and want to see it continue on its present high level levelA A A A ADuring During his address Warton said In the conduct of racing is the assurance of continuity of racing You are aware that one of our tracks in Chicago in May of last year was closed for a considerable period due to a boycott of horsemen based upon their belief that inadequate purses were being offered You also know of the boycott at Hollywood Park this year I am not prepared to take a position on the side of either group but the effect to the states involved was serious I feel therefore that it would be very helpful if some rule could be applied which would place a burden upon both the track and horsemen Commissioners Concerned Over Strikes Moyer Says People Must Be Protected Stimulation Taxation Also Discussed Many Warn Against Trend to OverTaxation OverTaxationto to insure the continuity of racing Wartons suggestions brought comment on and off the convention floor one commissioner charging that five California trainers of prominence were responsible for the Hollywood boycott Some commissioners strongly doubted that any burden could be prearranged as such cases must be settled on their individual merits Still others insisted that when all else fails to effect a settlement the state commission should step in inA A A A AJudge Judge Earl Moyer spoke at length on the position com ¬ missioners must take when horsemen and track heads cannot come to a settlement He said The state is a solid partner in racing and our job is to protect the people at all costs I have no cure or solution for there must be flexibility in dealing with these situations We are a quasijudicial body and while commissioners mustpermit negotiations to the fullest extent a failure in reaching a settlement means we must step in We must be fair and impartial in dealing with both sides but we must demand the complete facts and figures We will determine the is ¬ sues and judge what is best in the public interest The sport of racing cannot be overridden or strikes or sit dpwns and as commissioners we must see that it is not Most of the delegates present agreed that Moyers ap ¬ proach to the problem was a sensible one and that a fail ¬ ure to reach a settlement left no alternative for the com ¬ missioners Besides the disputes of horsemen and track manage ¬ ments on purse distribution the committee reports on stimulation taxation legislation and uniform rules and procedure occupied much of the delegates time and at ¬ tention Due to the effective work of the TRPB and other agencies stimulation is no longer the serious problem it was 10 years ago However the commissioners agreed there must be no letdown in the vigil that has brought about the decrease in the practice In the absence of chairman Arthur B Hancock James Inglis of Michigan spoke for the committee on state revenue and cited the return of the ODwyer Bite in New York as an example of how lawmakers will single out horse racing wHen seek ¬ ing revenue to bolster the income necessary for the state and for New York City It has been pointed out on many occasions that an increase in taxes will result in a de ¬ crease of the return to the state Robert Read president of the HBPA made a sensible suggestion when he told the commissioners who are appointed by the governor that they should remind their respective chief executives that excessive taxation will eventually mean a throttling of the golden goose gooseA A A A ABringing Bringing excessive taxation to the attention of the lawmakers was also commented upon in the report of the committee on public relations Harry Millar chairman stated The members of the NASRC are being called upon today to lend their individual efforts to racings public relations program of the future Your voice to ¬ gether with the voices of your respective commissioners must rise as one in protest against overtaxation which now threatens the very lifeline of thoroughbred racing throughout the nation Those in power in our state gov ¬ ernments must be given to understand that the racing racingContinued Continued on Page FortyOne REFLECTIONS REFLECTIONSBy By NELSON DUNSTAN Continued from Page Forty Four Fourfan fan has long been asked to shoulder more than his share of the cost of gevornment If we as commissioners do not protect him our reason for being inevitably must cease It is indeed unfortunate that be ¬ cause of his love for excitement glamour and the great outdoor sports theatre that is racing he must pay pay and pay until his recreation budget dies a lingering and painful death on the rack of excessive and unfair taxation It is difficult to justify the attitudes of our lawmakers toward the individual who likes to smoke drive a car drink an occasional glass of beer and perhaps go to the races Woe seems to be to him who after working hard aH year to support his family and pay his just income taxes that he dare al ¬ low himself a few of lifes fast diminishing pleasures Let us make it clear then such things are not vices and that patrons of thoroughbred racing are in all truth de ¬ cent lawabiding and sportsloving citi ¬ zens of our great land

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