Just as so many American families and small businesses across the country have done some belt tightening in recent years, so, too, have numerous non-profit organizations serving various segments of the horse racing and breeding industry. In the Paulick Report's exclusive survey of 22 national, state and local organizations that filed Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service, executive salaries dropped by 5.9% from the previous year, from an average of $257,489 annual compensation to $242,420.
The survey includes the salaries of top executives at what we like to call the “alphabet soups”: AAEP, AHC, AQHA, RCI, BCL, CTBA, FTBOA, HBPA (national and some affiliates); Jockeys' Guild, KTA/KTOB, NTRA, NYTB, THA (national and some affiliates), The Jockey Club, TOBA, TOC, and TRA. The aggregate compensation paid to 30 executives at these different organizations totals $7,272,614.
The most recent Form 990s are used (easily obtainable from GuideStar.org), with the majority of salaries representing the 2011 tax year. Missing are two major horsemen's groups, the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, which apparently do not file Form 990s. Some annual compensation for new or departing executives are pro-rated estimates. We have also included total revenue as reported for each organization.
Some of the decline in aggregate salary resulted from departing executives Greg Avioli of Breeders' Cup and Alan Marzelli of The Jockey Club, who represented the two highest-paid individuals in our previous survey.
But as revenues to many of these organizations have declined (one noteworthy example is the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, whose reported total revenue fell from $1,422,842 in 2009 to $910,193 in 2010), so have annual salary increases and bonuses.
Still, we have to wonder: Are all these organizations truly necessary? Consolidation has penetrated the private sector, but it has been rare in the non-profit world.
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