AUSTIN (TEXAS TRIBUNE) - The Formula One drivers have come and gone, and the helicopters that ferried well-heeled businessmen to Austin's new race track have fallen silent.
But the debate over providing as much as $250 million in tax subsidies to the race promoters is far from the finish line.
This past weekend's F1 race, the first held in the United States since 2007, drew more than 117,000 fans to the $400 million Circuit of the Americas track over the weekend. And state officials have projected the event will pump more than $200 million into the Texas economy.
But unlike Rangers Ballpark in Arlington or Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, the race track facility was built without major up-front incentives or financing from local or state taxpayers.
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs had pledged two years ago that the state would provide $250 million over 10 years to defray the costs of bringing F1 racing to Austin, but she did it before the city of Austin had either requested or signed off on the deal as required under Texas law. So the plan to provide tax incentives on the front end fell apart.
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