Skip to comments.Battle over NFL's Tax-Exempt Status Focuses Attention on Sports Crony Capitalism
Posted on 12/09/2013 2:50:58 AM PST by markomalley
The National Football League, which Forbes Magazine recently called "the most lucrative sports league in the world" has enjoyed federal tax-exempt status since 1966. In September, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) introduced the PRO Sports Act (S. 1524), which is designed to end the tax-exempt status of the NFL, along with several other sports leagues and organizations, including the NHL, the PGA, and the LPGA.
Despite a petition to Congress signed by over 300,000 fans requesting an end to the NFL's tax-exempt status and a recent pair of dueling op-eds between Senator Coburn and Jeremy Spector, an attorney with Covington and Burling and outside tax counsel to the NFL, that publicly debated the merits of the NFL's tax-exempt status, Coburn's legislation is going nowhere.
In a Senate filled with colleagues who eagerly rush to co-sponsor popular bills, Coburn has failed to find a single co-sponsor. On September 18, when Coburn introduced the bill in the Senate, it was read twice on the floor, as is the custom, and was sent to the Senate Finance Committee on the same day. Nothing has been heard of it since.
The reasons why the bill is going nowhere sheds light on the intricate connection between the major players in the sports world and our national problem of special-interest crony capitalism.
Though the 32 teams that comprise the NFL and several valuable league subsidiaries, such as NFL Ventures LLC, are for-profit tax paying organizations, the NFL League office itself is a not-for-profit organization. It is not an IRS Code Section 501 (c) (3) charitable non-profit, like the American Red Cross, but is instead an IRS Code Section 501 (c) (6) non-profit, which independent tax attorney Jeffrey Tenenbaum points out is "an organization whose primary purpose is to further the industry or profession it represents."
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...
All the players, the refs, the coaches, the stadium workers, the TV announcers etc. must pay taxes. Why does the NFL Big Wigs think they should get special treatment?
Any industry that can shell out millions on salaries, per person, does not need subsidies.
Businesses don’t actually pay taxes.
Corporate taxes are just another way to get the consumer to pay more in taxes while keeping them fooled into believing that it’s the big bad corporations that are paying.
However, corporate taxes do hinder the ability to compete with products imported without tariff from other countries that have lower or no corporate tax.
It’s always the common folk that pay the taxes, always.
It has to be this way since almost all the money is held by the middle class. The great bulk of all taxes are paid by the middle class as increased prices of goods and services passed on to them to make up for the taxes levied on the wealthy and corporations....And the retirement funds of the middle class constitutes the biggest bonanza of real money in the world. (the dems cast greedy eyes upon this huge fortune)
“Any industry that can shell out millions on salaries, per person, does not need subsidies.”
Well, I do agree with that. But, what do you say we continue to give the LPGA a little break? It appears to me that it is struggling financially. And, it’s pay-outs are not particularly large as compared to others. Besides, now that the LPGA leadership has finally wised up and has brought on a new generation of young cuties and has run off those old bull dykes I kinda enjoy watching. Now, the LPGA Needs to work on their Asians, especially the Koreans, and instruct them in how to dress attractively like women and not boys..... :)
So, they don’t pay taxes and on top of that the taxpayers build them stadiums to play in.
Some of these articles can be misleading. It's not as if TV networks pay $X billion per year to broadcast NFL games and nobody pays any taxes on that income.
The NFL? And then there is the National Basketball League, the National Baseball League, The National Soccor League, etc. etc., need I go on? Everyone wants a free ride. Its time to stop all the give aways. Professional sports contribute nothing directly to our gross national product and only sell entertainment. Next thing you know, the movie and TV folks will also want the same as the NFL is getting. FORGET IT!
And are protected from anti-trust litigation (try forming your own NFL franchise). The list goes on.
The NFL does not generate any income from its operations. The 32 NFL teams do. That's why the 32 NFL teams pay taxes, while the NFL does not.
It wasn't much of a loss, though. The jury awarded the USFL $1 in damages, which was tripled to $3 under Federal anti-trust law. In other words, the USFL proved to a jury that the NFL was violating Federal anti-trust law, but couldn't demonstrate that the NFL had actually caused the USFL any financial losses.
Hmm . . . I’ll have to read up about it later. I may be incorrect. Thanks.
Since they have assumed a political stance by banning commercials from gun stores, they should loose their tax free status.
The NFL is tax exempt? That’s ridiculous - they can and should pay taxes. Mucho taxes in fact. Beaucoup bucks.
I like football, but it is certainly a profit making venture.
was wondering why the NFL was supporting O’bummer care-
pressuring the Redskins on a name change-
DOING COMMERCIALS FOR the O’Bummers- touting health Care-
And anything the First Wookie is promoting!
Just a little pay back for O’bummer
THE NFL should be taxed big time
To take it a step further, any industry that needs a subsidy should simply cease to exist.
The NFL Commissioner makes $10 million per year, so they at least generate, somehow, $10 million in revenue.
The Fedgov and citygov keep looking for ways to tax the property of Churches. Let them tax the NFL
They all need to pay taxes. I’m surprised the tax-loving Democrats are not lining up to co-sponsor this bill?
a lot of us pay for the stadiums while the NFL makes boat loads of cash. I will never go to a Steeler game for two reasons: One, I cant afford a ticket and two, the Rooneys are Obama buttboys.
I also resent paying millionaire football players. Most of whom should be in jail.
Don’t confuse people with facts.. it just muddles the fact that people want to say that nobody in the NFL pays taxes.
Whatever "revenue" they have is only to pay their expenses, including the cost of office space, salaries for their staff (not just the commissioner but his administrative staff), etc. That's how a non-profit organization works.
The NFL doesn't get any revenue from its football operations. My guess is that all of their income is from fees that are paid by each franchise.
Can't be said too often.
The poor pay even more in taxes than the middle class- but they pay in lost opportunities, not in money.
Yes, you make a very good point.
The NFL blackmails cities into subsidizing stadiums for their billionaire owners.
They also insist on not paying any hotel taxes in the cities that host the Super Bowl.
If they don’t make a profit and don’t have any revenue over expenses, then they should not have to worry about being tax-exempt.
If they’re a non-profit I believe they can retain “earnings” for the next tax year without paying income taxes.
I'm no fan of the NFL. It's just kind of ridiculous to suggest that nobody gets any tax revenue from professional football teams.
I certainly see their point, but that doesn’t change the fact that the NFL is an organization that exists to bleed Taxpayers dry for the benefit of billionaires.
I’m not so sure that’s the truth, but I disagree with your logic.
If 50%+1 of voters thinks it’s OK to take your cash from your wallet does that make it OK?
One of the general principles that should rule Gov’t is no subsidies for private business.
I agree 100% that government shouldn't be subsidizing private business. But if you were to rank every company in the U.S. that receives a government subsidy the NFL probably doesn't rank among the top one thousand of them.
Exactly. My taxes built their stadiums and they get tax exempt status on top of that. I say let them build their own stadiums and give no subsidies and no tax breaks. Let it survive or die like any other business. Football is just another entertainment business. It should be treated as such.
So, crony capitalism is “OK” if “someone else” is having to foot the bill? Gotcha.
One legitimate rationale for hotel and rental car taxes is that it helps raise tax revenue from people who use public infrastructure and resources but usually don't pay other taxes in that jurisdiction (income taxes, for example).