Not satisfied by their $29 million tax-funded payout for last November’s Formula 1 race, cronies of the Circuit of the America’s racetrack in Austin have their hands out for more taxpayer money.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, the Circuit Events Local Organizing Committee, associated with the owners of the Circuit of the America’s racetrack (COTA), is seeking another payment of $2.2 million from the states’ Major Events Trust Fund for a MotoGP race in April and $1 million for an Australian Supercar race in May.

And here you thought the $29 million payout they originally received for the Formula 1 race in November would be a one-time payment!

Now that construction on COTA is complete, can someone honestly make the claim that without more handouts these races would not take place? And if they are profitable, why do we need to subsidize them in the first place? Or at all?

Taxpayers are about to learn another painful lesson about the dangers of government-supported venture capitalism. Rent-seekers like the COTA investors know it’s much easier for politicians to turn the subsidy spigot on than it is for taxpayers to turn it off. And pending a successful application to the Major Events Trust Fund, they’ll be walking away with more buckets filled with tax dollars.

The Legislature has an opportunity to rectify their decision to spend millions of dollars on corporate welfare when they settle on a budget this biennium. Will they continue to let taxpayers get lapped by crony capitalists? Or will they finally stand up for the free-market principles they campaigned on?

Taxpayers are watching.

Dustin Matocha

Dustin Matocha is the CFO and COO of Texas Scorecard. Dustin graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Management, a BA in Government, and a minor in Marketing. He’s a self-described Corvette enthusiast, baseball purist, tech geek and growing connoisseur of local craft beer.