Statement from Rep. Clint Tracy

"Many of you may have already heard that the Tour of Missouri is in jeopardy of being canceled. This news comes at a time when the race is set to start within 60 days. The possible cancellation is the result of the director of economic development's decision to freeze $1.5 million for the race, roughly 40 percent of the race budget. I urge my constituents to call Gov. Jay Nixon and request that he immediately reconsider and release these dollars.

"This race is the largest sporting event the state has ever hosted. In 2007 and 2008, over 800,000 people from all over the world watched this race. The University of Missouri's School of Business calculated the race's direct economic impact over the last two years to be nearly $60 million, quite a return on the state's $3 million investment. Cape Girardeau, the finish line for Stage 2 of the race, will be directly affected by loss of revenue. Cancellation of this event will most assuredly open Missouri up to lawsuits for breach of contract.

"While we are in tougher economic times than the previous two years, the $1.5 million that the Department of Economic Development would save would simply be spent elsewhere. Compounded with the loss of sales tax revenue from the visitors and guests to our state, this move, without a doubt, will cost the state far more than it saves.

"If this race is canceled, we are cheating our local small businesses out of tourism dollars they desperately need. Governor Nixon's direct telephone line is 573-751-3222. You may also send a message to Click "Constituent services" near the top of the main page."

State Rep. CLINT TRACY, 158th District, Missouri House of Representatives, Cape Girardeau

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