Breaking: Heartland Motorsports Park Owner Threatens To Close, Raze, and Move Facility Over Tax Issues

Breaking: Heartland Motorsports Park Owner Threatens To Close, Raze, and Move Facility Over Tax Issues

Chris Payne is the owner of Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas. He was the guy that came in and saved what is one of the nicest racing facilities in the country from what was going to be a bad ending. Payne made some major investments in the track with respect to the road course and sprucing the place up. He has been at odds with the city of Topeka basically from the beginning regarding the taxes that he needs to pay on the place. Apparently the bill is between $30,000 and $50,000 a month and he is tired of it.

In fact, he is so tired of it that he has announced that without a suitable fix to this situation he’s going to find a new parcel, completely raze the current track, and move the place closer to Kansas City.

Heartland Park Topeka as the facility was originally named and called for decades has had a long and interesting life with regard to funding, ownership, taxes, and well everything else. The place was built with money from the government and opened to great fanfare. It remains one of the most bad ass fast places the NHRA or anyone else races on. The operator previous to Payne did the place few favors and it was in a pretty sad state by the time he left.

Payne has worked with the city before, having the property value reconnoitered a few years ago but to this point, no longterm solution has been created to remedy what Payne sees as taxes which are far too high.

The track accounts for brining 4% of the total hotel revenue of Topeka each year. That’s pretty wild for a single venue and the CEO of the tourism centric “Visit Topeka” called the potential loss of the track, “A devastating blow to Topeka.”

Let’s hope they can figured this one out.

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8 thoughts on “Breaking: Heartland Motorsports Park Owner Threatens To Close, Raze, and Move Facility Over Tax Issues

  1. ksj2

    Soon to be leveled and become a certain shipping companies headquarters or a shipping companies shipping hub.Hate to see it.Been paying taxes on it for almost 30 years.Hes had to pay for services he doesn’t even use.Sad deal.Hate to say I live in this ass backward town.Beers are on you Bruab this year,

  2. Crazy

    Will racers remember this the next time they cry over the ticket/pit/etc fee\’s to race at a track. Most have zero clue on the overhead.

  3. Eric O.

    ***checks dictionary for the word “reconnoitered” and low and behold, there it is***
    I have resolved to support my local track more this coming season. They had so many weather related poor turn-outs or outright cancellations, the owner told me he sunk $300K keeping it open.

  4. Truckin Ted

    As we speak, Chris is rebuilding the I-70 Speedway facility just east of Kansas City. Having been shuttered for a number of years…the new facility will include a slightly banked dirt track and a drag strip. It is worth considering by the state of Kansas, that he cold move a certain amount of his structures from KS to Missouri. He indeed has the wherewithal to do as you say.

    It confusing to me as Kansas has a long history of giving businesses big tax breaks to steal them from the Missouri side. (I grew up in the area.). Putting the screws to a business that has such an influence on the local economy is comical. Considering the state has been near bankruptcy in the last few years makes the situation even more confusing.

  5. Rtan

    It would suck to see them have to relocate but I would love to see him bring it closer to the KC area. We need a good road course in the KC area.

  6. AutoX_Scout_II

    I will hate to see the road course razed. The course layout is super fun, the track surface was just repaved, and it does not eat tires.

  7. Truckin Ted

    I don’t really know how much land that the I-70 facility has;- but would it be possible to build a road course there? Road courses are certainly in short supply in that part of the country…… one less is not a good thing.

  8. Art Ist

    Kansas is so freaking flat you can build a track anywhere. There are lots of old airport runways that would work.

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