• United States Grand Prix

Taxpayers sue over USGP funding

ESPNF1 Staff
June 23, 2011 « Criminal complaint filed against Sutil | »
Work is already well underway on the site of the new Circuit of the Americas © Sutton Images

Taxpayers have sued the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts over the allocation of funds to secure the United States Grand Prix.

Susan Combs agreed to pay the $25m sanctioning fee for the race to Bernie Ecclestone from the Texas Major Events Trust Fund, which is comprised of public money. Combs is now being sued by three taxpayers because the plaintiffs believe there was no "highly competitive selection process" to decide the allocation of the funds, and that guaranteeing the payment after the site had been chosen was illegal.

The taxpayers' lawyer said that the lawsuit had been filed to prevent "the unlawful plunder of public funds for promoters of a Formula One race at a time when the State of Texas claims it cannot afford to adequately fund essential services, such as its public education system."

State funding for the project has yet to be formally approved, but a spokesman for Combs denied any wrongdoing, saying that the proposed payment was completely legal.

"All applicable state rules and regulations were followed," the spokesman said. "The comptroller's office has followed the law as it is laid out in statute and administrative rules."