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Game action in Pittsburgh during a Pittsburgh Steelers (black/yellow) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (white/red) National Football League game on December 3, 2006. Players depicted include: (Steelers #99) Brett Keisel; (Steelers #51) James Farrior; (Steelers #2

Every now and then, a Republican gets on board with a good idea:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Wednesday proposed legislation that would strip the National Football League's tax-exempt status.

Chaffetz said professional football and hockey leagues are for-profit entities that don't need an unfair tax break. He offered the measure days before the Super Bowl, the nation's most popular sporting event of the year.

"In reality, the NFL and the NHL are for-profit businesses, and they should be taxed as such," he said. "They are not charities nor are they traditional trade organizations like local chambers of commerce."

Taxing sports leagues would not exactly raise big bucks for the federal government—just $109 million over 10 years. But money aside, it's an important precedent: There's no reason these for-profit businesses should keep that money while other for-profit businesses pay taxes. Especially not while taking taxpayers for billions in subsidies. This should be a no-brainer.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:56 AM PST.

Also republished by The Wide World of Sports and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Won't for-profit status affect monopoly laws? (3+ / 0-)

    If the only professional football/hockey/sports league in existence is a for-profit company and taxed as such, does that not force Congress to break up the league into competing entities to avoid being an illegal monopoly?  I always thought they were set up as non-profits so that they could be exempted from such legalities, not so that they could hoard tax profits away from the government.

  •  This is such a small issue (18+ / 0-)

    All 32 teams in the NFL pay a LOT of taxes as very-much-for-profit entities.  

    Now if you want to talk about why cities and states sign sweetheart deals to these teams for things like Stadiums and Parking expansions thats another thing and needs to be addressed on individual state levels.

    But this "Teh NFL iz HOARDING BILLIONZ!!1!" nonsense is just that: nonsense.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:10:14 AM PST

  •  From what I have read the NFL operates at a loss (9+ / 0-)

    so it's tax status really doesn't matter. All the revenue is sent to the actual teams, who are for profit entities and pay taxes. The teams then send the equivalent of "association dues" to cover the league office activities. The dues seem to always be less than the costs so there is not a "surplus" or "profit". I haven't seen any data, or financial structure, for MLB, NBA or NHL so I don't know if they are the same as the NFL. However, it seem likely that if the associations tax status is changed they all will plan to lose a little money each year so there are no taxes due.

    I would be surprised if there were any revenue gains to be had. I think most of the teams, where the actual operations occur, are profitable and they pay taxes.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:13:57 AM PST

    •  Yes, and more. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, Gary Owen

      What's more, businesses should be able to form associations that are not themselves (for the most part) businesses. So long as the profits are taxed by the individual businesses, this is a not a legitimate issue, IMO.

      What might is a real issue (though not pressing compared to non-sports) is that for regulatory purposes including anti-trust, leagues (especially MLB, but all leagues) get away with being treated as individual businesses when that's advantageous and as a single entity when that's advantageous. I'd get behind a push to force them to choose one or the other.

    •  How does a losing nonprofit pay its CEO (4+ / 0-)

      president 29 million dollars? I bet Roger gets all kinds of tax breaks

      •  Goodell makes $29 million because the member (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mikey, Sparhawk, gffish

        teams think its fair and pony up the cash. The Commissioner has only thirty two people he needs to keep happy, the team owners.

        I don't think Goodell gets any special tax breaks. His compensation is all in cash and is fully taxable. I am sure he has some deferred compensation, but that will be taxed just like any other executive compensation plan. Given how the league is organized, and it's non-profit status, I don't know how you could create any tax advantage in Goodell's compensation.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 05:53:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  VClib - not too good at the old reading (0+ / 0-)

          comprehension thing, eh
          NOt 'why', 'how'

          Haha it's fully taxable. Just like all the Repubicans paying their fair share of 13%

          •  The only people who pay 13% are those who (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mikey, Sparhawk, Dvd Avins

            earn nearly all their income from investments eligible for long term capital gains treatment. In addition, a very small group of professionals who manage investment assets held in partnerships can qualify a significant portion of their incentive compensation so that it qualifies for long term capital gains treatment. Mitt Romney was one of those people because Bain Capital has the type of organizational structure that allows for long term capital gains treatment. This lower tax rate, applicable only to long term capital gains, is not available to the CEOs, or any other senior executives, of the Fortune 1000, physicians, lawyers, athletes, entertainers or any other high income earner, including Roger Goodell, who earns primarily W2 or 1099 income.

            If your question is how the NFL pays Goodell $29 million and retains its tax exempt status it's likely that the IRS has noticed in the annual filings with the IRS that the tax exempt NFL umbrella organization is run at a loss. Therefore there are no tax revenues to chase, and it isn't worth the time of the IRS to pursue a change of tax status.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:37:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Effective tax rates (0+ / 0-)

              None of your comment actually jives with the real world data.  Actual effective tax rates can be found here: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/...  

              The facts are that those who make the most pay the highest tax rates (their payroll taxes rates are just slightly lower than everyone else, but their overall tax rates are significantly higher than everyone else).  I'm not trying to argue, but facts are facts and misrepresenting them makes us seem like FOX News.

              •  oconnell - everything I wrote is accurate (0+ / 0-)

                All W2 and 1099 earnings for high income earners is taxed at the top marginal rate. Only a very few people who work to earn income qualify for any capital gains treatment and those are professionals who manage assets held in partnerships. The total income of the very top earners, the 1/10 of 1% is nearly all investment income, most taxed at long term capital gains rates. That's why the numbers for the top 1% show lower effective rates because the effective rates are averages, means not medians, therefore the very top earners shift the average towards the long term capital gains rate. The Roger Goodell's and Fortune 1000 CEOs have an effective tax rate near the top of the highest marginal rate because their earned income overwhelms their investment income. For the idle rich there is no earned income.  

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 02:12:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  We may be at cross purposes (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VClib

                  I was trying to point out that the argument that is made here, quite frequently, that the 'rich' pay lower rates than the poor is actually false.

                  Those who earn all their income at the long term capital gains rates probably pay the highest actual rate of taxes of anyone.  For example, an individual who is one of the top 10% of the top 1%, who earns millions in long term capital gains is paying 20% or possibly 23% on those gains.  Those are significantly higher rates than the average rates for even the second quintile.

                  Whether or not that is their 'fair share' should be discussed.  But I saw a recent diary that claimed that the 'rich' were paying 15% and the poor were paying 30%.  Just not true.

                  •  Absolutely wrong (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dvd Avins

                    The average household income of someone in the second quintile of income was 42,500 in 2007;  since incomes haven't risen much since 2007 in real terms, let's call that 50,000 in 2014 dollars.  That income would bear 15.3% FICA and Social Security, assuming it is all wages (as would likely be the case).  Just as an approximation, a 50,000 gross income would be about a 35,000 taxable income, with regular income tax of approximately $3,600.  So, total federal income tax on the average income in the second quintile would be $11,250, or 22.5%.

                    However, if income is all or essentially all capital gains (as it is for the very wealthiest), the top regular income tax rate is 20%.

                    In fact, nearly every wage-earner whose taxable income exceeds 30,000 or so will pay a higher tax rate than 20%  

                    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                    by Old Left Good Left on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 04:03:25 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Except I'm referring to 'effective' rates (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MHB

                      Which means that we need to account for everything that might be happening.  Your back of the envelope calculations do not.  How does the presence of children affect that tax rate?  What about home ownership?  401(k)?  If you want to argue that Brookings is wrong, please do so, but note that their source is the CBO .  The total average federal tax rate for families in the second quintile is under 7% (which includes a negative rate for individual income taxes).

                      •  uhh... (0+ / 0-)

                        Don't patronize--especially when you're being stupid.

                        I calculated effective tax rates.

                        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                        by Old Left Good Left on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 08:15:08 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Please, explain for the stupid (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MHB

                          My source shows the effective rates at around 7% using CBO data.  Your explanation doesn't seem to account for any tax credits or deductions.

                          Let's look more closely at your numbers.  That 42,500 in 2007 is equivalent to 47,750 in 2013.  That is less than the IRS limits for qualifying for the EITC.  A married couple, filing jointly with 2 children could get up to $5300 back from the government at that level.

                          Even using your simplistic calculations, that results in a true tax bill of ~$6000 (using your calculations).  That is an effective tax rate of ~12%, not 22% and significantly less than the 20% or so that our rich guy is making.

                          Starting to become apparent that you aren't even close to calculating true effective tax rates?  And if nothing else, your math doesn't even add up.  You are counting the employer contribution to FICA taxes in the numerator without counting it in the denominator.

                          Yeah, I'm being stupid...  You should call me more names, it might draw less attention to your math.

                          •  Because you're using averaged data (0+ / 0-)

                            My examples are a real life examples.  YMMV.

                            "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                            by Old Left Good Left on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 07:29:00 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Now I see (0+ / 0-)

                            So, your point is that you know one person who makes exactly 50k, who has no deductions/credits/anything, who pays exactly the published rates, who doesn't have an IRA or own a home or get child credits or have health insurance or anything that would affect pre-tax income or anything...  You know this snowflake, this one in a zillion who actually uses only 4 pages from the million pages worth of tax law...  This is the person you use as 'proof' of some aspect of our tax code.  You don't want to use meaningful averages, you want to use this one particular person and act like they represent millions of taxpayers.

                            Ok, just making sure.

                          •  Nice try (0+ / 0-)

                            I used an example of someone with a 50K income and some usual sorts of deductions, resulting in a 35K taxable income (I guess  you missed that part, eh?).  My assumptions were realistic.  Not everyone gets the EITC (especially if they don't have children);  not everyone itemizes. Your claim that this person is a "snowflake" is ludicrous.

                            What is lost in using averages is granularity; at the high end, for example, well-paid doctors, lawyers, and other professionals who earn a lot of ordinary income get averaged in with the few that earn their income in the form of capital gains.  This obscures the fact that the latter pay an astonishingly low rate of tax.

                            "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                            by Old Left Good Left on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 06:27:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That is why it is broken into quintiles (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MHB

                            Why is this math so confounding for you?  Using your contrived example proves nothing, other than that you can contrive an example.  You say that 'Not everyone gets the EITC'.  Right, but some people do.  Do you use them in your example?  No, you use the people who don't.  

                            http://taxfoundation.org/...

                            Almost 20% of the entire population claims the EITC.  Almost 75% of the people eligible for the EITC claim it.  But, I can see why you would invent an example, to prove a point you invented, that doesn't use it.

                            Congratulations, you have demonstrated to everyone how to come to a conclusion in the absence of evidence and then make up evidence that supports your conclusion.
                            http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/...
                            More proof of you ignoring evidence that doesn't fit your preconceptions...  The CBO breaks out the highest quintile into sub-blocks, so you can see how the 95-99% block does, separately from the
                            80-85% block.  You know, so that the well paid doctors don't get averaged in with the few that earn their income in the form of capital gains.  'Cause, that would be wrong...  Interestingly, you can see that the higher the income, the higher the effective taxes.  The rate for the top 1% is actually the highest rate.  So, despite your assertion that the latter pay an astonishingly low rate of tax, the upper quintile actually obscures the fact that "the latter" pay an astonishingly high rate of tax.

                            So, yeah, I can see why you keep wanting to argue this.  I mean, the data doesn't support these examples that you make up, so the data must be wrong.  Your imaginary examples must be a better representation of effective tax rates for millions of people, than the actual data on the effective tax rates for millions of people.

                          •  You are kidding me (0+ / 0-)

                            Your version of my claim:

                            So, despite your assertion that the latter pay an astonishingly low rate of tax, the upper quintile actually obscures the fact that "the latter" pay an astonishingly high rate of tax.
                            No, that isn't what I said.  I said that some--not all, but some--pay low rates.  In fact, you already conceded that the rate of tax on someone who receives only long-term capital gains is 20%.  It would have been 15% last year, and remember that Romney had a tax rate of even less than 15%--that, my friend, is astonishingly low.

                            Your first link shows that childless couples don't get an EITC when their income is above $20,020.  I hope you're willing to concede the existence of childless couples--or maybe you think that through the magic of averaging, everyone has at least a fraction of a child.

                            You don't understand your second link either--or averages, apparently.  Some wealthy people have tax rates at about the long-term capital gains tax rate.  Some don't.  They average together.  Got that?

                            Similarly for less wealthy people.  Some pay at a rate less than the average; some more.  I gave you an example of how it could be more.

                            Your basic claim, made way back when, was

                            The facts are that those who make the most pay the highest tax rates (their payroll taxes rates are just slightly lower than everyone else, but their overall tax rates are significantly higher than everyone else)
                            That is deeply unserious claim, and you have to be some special kind of dense to keep pushing it.  Again, you simply fail to comprehend the fact that using average rates masks a wide range in rates within any income group.  

                            Let me try to make it simple for you:  some wealthy people pay taxes at a lower rate than some much less wealthy people.  Forget averages--they are of no use in determining what the range of rates within a quintile is.  

                            "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                            by Old Left Good Left on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 10:37:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, that isn't what you said (0+ / 0-)

                            You said

                            well-paid doctors, lawyers, and other professionals who earn a lot of ordinary income get averaged in with the few that earn their income in the form of capital gains.  This obscures the fact that the latter pay an astonishingly low rate of tax.
                            That doesn't sound at all like:
                            I said that some--not all, but some--pay low rates.
                            You don't have the slightest idea how many pay low rates.  And you keep thinking that because you can make up something that fits, that you have provided some proof or something.  You said that the well paid doctors and lawyers have their rates averaged in with those that pay "an astonishingly low rate of tax".  You couldn't possibly have been more wrong.  Reality is exactly the opposite of what you keep saying.

                            So, your point is really that in a country of 300 million people, there are exceptions to everything.  Somewhere out there, despite the fact that the overall average tax rate for the super wealthy is higher than it is for any other income range, you want to keep harping one something you made up, or (gasp) the one guy you read pays a lower tax rate.  Seriously!  That is what you want to emphasize and misrepresent to anyone who doesn't know the facts?  Congratulations.  You've made Hannity look smart and ethical.

                          •  Whatevs (0+ / 0-)

                            All your comments are right-wing blather.  So fuck off, troll.

                            "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                            by Old Left Good Left on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 07:40:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not surprised (0+ / 0-)

                            You started out calling me stupid.  You ended up telling me to fuck off.  You refer to facts as 'right-wing blather'.  You know way less about this than you originally let on, don't you?

                          •  I'm not surprised that you're surprised (0+ / 0-)

                            Based on your comments, you likely hear that you're wrong and stupid a lot.  And based on your dogged persistence in being wrong and stupid, you probably get told to fuck off a lot, too.

                            "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                            by Old Left Good Left on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:02:51 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Weird (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MHB

                            Given multiple opportunities to present a fact of any kind, anything, in fact, that isn't something you acknowledge just making up, and you refuse at every turn.  Yet you still keep calling names and insisting that you are making some point relevant to adults in this world (as opposed to the voices no one else can hear telling you how smart you are).

                            Why do you think that making things up and insisting that some small, unknown number of exceptions to documented trends involving millions of people is something you should be trying to fool people about?

                            Again, I'll give you another chance here to show some facts and really make me look bad by totally putting me in my place with logic and reason.  I suspect you'll call me more names, hoping no one is really paying attention to the point you're trying to make any more...  How's that working?  Anyone still paying attention to the stuff you are making up?

                          •  This would be fun (0+ / 0-)

                            I went back and re-read your comments in this thread.  It is almost amazing how consistently you have been wrong with every factual assertion you have made.

                            I had to laugh out loud when I read this again:

                            In fact, nearly every wage-earner whose taxable income exceeds 30,000 or so will pay a higher tax rate than 20%
                            I mean, where do you come up with things that are so shockingly, almost painfully incorrect?  Given mountains of evidence screaming how wrong you are, why would you say things that are so obviously wrong and easily proven incorrect?  Do you really believe this stuff?  I mean, you called me a troll?  Can you even try to back up some of the blatantly false things you have said?  I'd love to see you somehow argue that when you said they would pay a higher rate than 20%, you really meant something that wasn't crushingly wrong...

                            I can see that this is going to be fun for a while.

                  •  oconnell - I think we are on the same page (0+ / 0-)

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 05:11:47 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Sports Accounting (0+ / 0-)

      has to be about the shadiest GAAP there is.  I could show you how the "losses" all track back to paper amortization of construction costs of stadiums/arenas the teams never paid to build in the first place, but don't hesitate to claim the cost as an "expense" of a limited partnership that the tean rents the facility from at huge expense.  (The limited partners being of course the same people as the team owners.)  The profit from the games and ancillary income (parking, concessions) gets daisy-chained into losses on construction that the owners never paid for!  It's a scam of the first degree when sports teams claim to lose money.  The one exception is when a truly separate entity owns the facility where the games are played, but that is a rarity.

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

      by ActivistGuy on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 03:59:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  AG - I think you are confusing different entities (0+ / 0-)

        The umbrella association, the headquarters function of the NFL, has no ownership interest in any of the teams or any of the stadiums. So none of the team or stadium issues impact its financial statements. Each of the teams is a for profit, tax paying, entity and each has a unique stadium situation with different impacts on its P&L and tax liability.

        The umbrella organization collects association fees from each of the teams and pays for the headquarters level expenses. The TV and other league wide revenue goes directly to the teams, bypassing the umbrella organization, which in addition to being a non-profit earns no surplus. So even if it was a taxable organization it would owe no tax. That's why this entire discussion, and the petition to "Tax the NFL", makes no sense.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:46:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wouldn't this have to be done through legislation? (3+ / 0-)

    I am not sure that the IRS has the authority to unilaterally change the tax status of any major league sport.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:15:54 AM PST

    •  Reject the NFL's non-profit status? (0+ / 0-)

      We know that the IRS can do that from the not-an-actual-scandal targeting thing (especially since progressive groups were denied theirs).

      "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

      by Hayate Yagami on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 02:33:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  hmm, not basketball (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Villanova Rhodes, Roadbed Guy

    which has a franchise in Salt Lake City, the hilariously named Jazz.  Not the NCAA, which fields at least three D-I teams in the Beehive; not MLS and Real Salt Lake, not the Pacific Coast League AAA baseball . . . just hockey and football.  

    He's simply asking to be bought off in the next round of expansion / relocation.

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:45:12 AM PST

  •  I think you are confusing the NFL with the teams. (6+ / 0-)

    Keep in mind the NFL is just an organization of 32 independent companies. People see the NFL doesn't pay taxes, and they think that means the Dallas Cowboys don't pay taxes, which isn't true. Most of the money brought in by the NFL is distributed back to its member companies, and those companies pay taxes on it. So that money is taxed. It's not quite the racket you think it is.

    Conservatives love America like four-year-old kids love their mommies. -Al Franken

    by leftilicious on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 12:09:12 PM PST

  •  We should also yank the tax exemption (5+ / 0-)

    for stadium bonds when the stadia are primarily used by for profit businesses.

  •  Just think how much more would be raised by (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26, Gary Owen

    cutting corporate welfare--- but of course, Republicans  don't want to even consider that kind of "fairness" with regard to for-profit entities.

    Read this new report's findings, and weep:  

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    A new study has found that one of the biggest reasons so many states are having trouble meeting state pension obligations, is the corporate welfare-- tax breaks etc-- that states have committed to.  Often states spend MORE on corporate welfare than on their pension obligations.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 01:18:21 PM PST

  •  remember Chaffetz and elijah cummings from TDS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gary Owen

    a while back, recently? they were both scoffing at some idiot in a congressional hearing that stewart was highlighting.

    I forget the exact context- it was the two of them grilling a fedral official for providing a place to live to a scam artist who was scamming the EPA and some other agencies to pay him despite the fact that he literally did no work at all....

    been here, left, and might come back.

    by BikingForKarma on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 01:27:11 PM PST

  •  Interesting, but please don't ignore the craven (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, sneakers563

    Politics likely in this move. We might all agree that sports leagues should pay taxes. But, as good citizens we MUST ask why the NFL and the NHL is being targeted here and not, say, MLS and NBA?

    Utah has teams in the last two leagues. But they don't have teams in NFL or the NHL. As for baseball and MLB, let's just say that amongnthe demographic that runs Congress, baseball is still America's passtime and is politically untouchable.

    Using the power of Congress to sway sports leagues into expanding in your state is nothing new. The Jacksonville Jaguars exist essentially because Florida politicians put pressure on the NFL to expand there. There is virtually nothing, as a market, that Jacksonville brings to the NFL. The NFL wanted no part of Jacksonville. And it was only through political intimidation that the NFL agreed to expand there.

    Unlike other small sized markets in the NFL markets like Nashville (which has an entire state to itself), Greenbay, which is near a larger market in Milaukee and has a long NFL tradition dating to the NFL's early days, and New Orleans, which dominates the gulfcoast from parts of Texas all the way into the panhandle of Florida thus having an outsized influence in TV, Jacksonville is a veritable mid-manager transient town with a relative small native born population, and small TV market, and as predicted has virtually no TV presence outside of Jacksonville.

    The Jags were the result of political jockeying, as the newness has worn off they are even struggling at the gate. The creation of this franchise was pure politics and nothing about the football business.  

    We might all want the NFL to pay taxes, but we better be certain that this is about trying to twist the NFL's arm into expanding to Salt Lake City, and not really about tax policy.

  •  His request for SB tickets must have been rejected (5+ / 0-)
  •  After all, they can't outsource their teams. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26

    Nobody in this country is going to pay to see the Beijing Falcons. NFL franchises get huge government subsidies in the form of stadiums and local tax breaks. Treating them differently then other for-profit companies is wrong.

  •  Reward good behavior (0+ / 0-)

    Even if it happens to be a "broken clock right two times a day" sort of behavior.

    From one of the worst in the GOP.

    Yes, I will applaud and support this bill.

    --
    Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

    by sacrelicious on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 04:11:24 PM PST

  •  Chaffets is a glory hog (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gary Owen

    He will do anything to get publicity.  He appears in the press or on TV, far more than any other Utah Representative.  Trying to make a name for himself.

  •  Here is more on NFL tax exempt status (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    The teams aren't tax exempt, but the league itself is:

    http://watchdogblog.dallasnews.com/...

  •  Not a bad idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gary Owen

    Proceeds could go to help feed the hungry children in Utah's school cafeterias.
    You've got other problems to worry about

    If I said anything that offended anyone, you probably deserved it.

    by Mokislab on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 05:26:27 PM PST

  •  I believe my Green Bay Packers may be exempt (0+ / 0-)

    As a community owned non-profit entity. Oh, the irony if this ever passed, and Green Bay was the lone exemption.....ahh

    "Too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others" Robert F. Kennedy

    by realwischeese on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 01:21:27 AM PST

    •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

      The Packers are a for-profit entity.  They're not publicly owned like Yellowstone is publicly-owned, they're publicly-owned like General Electric is publicly-owned.

      They just don't return any profits to their shareholders, and you can't trade your stock on any exchange.  But it's not owned by the city or anything.  It's owned by people who bought stock.  

      •  sorry, you are wrong (0+ / 0-)

        Finding itself in financial straits in 1935, issued more stocks to the fans and reorganized as a nonprofit stock corporation under the new moniker, the Green Bay Packers.

        "Too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others" Robert F. Kennedy

        by realwischeese on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:54:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is a rather silly exercise - in the (6+ / 0-)

    mode of - "look at that shiny object over there" - in that the NFL which is tax exempt is the league offices/administration.

    Not the billions and billions of dollars involved in the actual day to day operations of the league, which are tax at multiple levels through all the usual mechanisms.

    Plus, like others have pointed out this is completely symbolic since the league finagles their finances to appear to operate at a loss, so there would be no taxes forthcoming in any event.

    Aren't there better things to spend our time on?  Like making sure Justin Bieber doesn't get back into the country?

  •  Ehhh... (5+ / 0-)

    This is like taxing the Chamber of Commerce because Exxon Mobil doesn't pay their fair share. The "NFL" is the league office. It is not the teams, and it earns no profit. It runs the draft, writes the rules, hires game officials, sets the schedule, and performs a host of other mundane administrative functions. The teams, which DO pay taxes on the $9 billion they collectively rake in every season, fund the league office.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 05:43:17 AM PST

  •  When the NFL is forced to account for CTE (0+ / 0-)

    then we'll be on to something.

    Something that from the $$s term will totally dwarf any or all tax issues.

  •  TAXING NFL OWNERS WOULD BE SOoooo unfair (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gary Owen, gffish

    The NFL owners must have tax subsidization because they can't move NFL jobs to China or Vietnam unlike the other businesses they own .

  •  Wow! (0+ / 0-)

    And this is from a REPUBLICAN!  Have I been transported to some Alternate Universe?  I'm having to agree with a Republican!  Damn!  There really is something new around each corner!

    "If none of us ever read a book that was 'dangerous,' had a friend who was 'different,' or joined an organization that advocated 'change,' we would all be just the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants." - Edward R. Murrow

  •  Tax the subsidies, too. (0+ / 0-)

    They ought to go a step further and make any for-profit enterprise that gets non-federal subsidies count those as income and pay taxes on them.  


    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.—Carl Schurz
    "Shared sacrifice!" said the spider to the fly.—Me

    by KingBolete on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 02:12:28 PM PST

  •  Great! Now tax the churches! (2+ / 0-)
    •  Taxing churches raises First Amendment (0+ / 0-)

      issues -- in order to tax them, the government has to pry into their inner workings, which jeopardizes churches' (and synagogues, mosques, Buddhist whatever they call 'ems) ability to govern themselves as they see fit. It would force them to use tax accounting, for example. Lawyers call that "entanglement."

      I understand why people want to tax them, but it is problematic due to the First Amendment's special treatment of religion and religious entities.

      The special treatment for sports teams and leagues, on the other hand, has no Constitutional warrant at all, and should be eliminated.

  •  Oil Companies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    make the oil companies pay taxes first that's where the real money is.

  •  Try living in STL with the Rams (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, Heart of the Rockies

    Here, they make a profit BEFORE they ever play a SINGLE game!  And yeah, the city paid for the arena, and pays for the water and electric too boot!  Everyone here's in a stir because "they might move to LA", to which sane citizens say "a billionaire is leaving? Who the F cares, they only play EIGHT games a year here!"

    ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

    by Arianna Editrix on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 03:35:03 PM PST

  •  Before jumping on board with this (0+ / 0-)

    Try and figure out if this attempt to tax a 501(c)6 organization will end up being part of a larger plan to attack 501(c)5 organizations.

  •  Unlike those on the right (0+ / 0-)

    I'll never pan an idea just because the other side proposes it. This should be done and it is long overdue.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by pajoly on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 03:44:36 PM PST

  •  Yes good idea (0+ / 0-)

    When has it EVER been a good idea for anyone to have tax advantages in America.  That is what got us to where we are now.  This is a duh moment in my opinion.

  •  NFL's Tax Exempt Status: Just Wondering (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish

    So, if I founded a league of racing turtles, always a career path I've thought highly of, would I be able to get tax-exempt status on all of my income from said sport?

    Or would I have to make them wear helmets and carry a regulation-sized football as they raced toward the goal line?

    •  It's not quite so simple (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dvd Avins

      Assume that by founding a league, you would be allowing others to sponsor turtles and compete in races you arranged and provided venues and services for. You might or might not own some racing turtles yourself; for conflict-of-interest reasons you probably don't want to (much as Bud Selig has had to sell off his stake in the Brewers to serve as baseball commissioner).

      The owners would be racing turtles for profit—purses, sponsorship income, a percentage of the gate from each event, whatever (just like NASCAR or indeed any motorsports-sanctioning body, which is the model here). You, as league owner and commissioner, would realize your income from dues from the racing teams, licensing, whatever. You could decide to be a non-profit like the NFL is officially (in that it exists to facilitate the business of its member teams, rather than make a profit itself) or a for-profit like the NBA or (I think) NASCAR.

  •  But, the NFL is a religion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, Dvd Avins

    for some.  We don't tax religious worship in the US.

    Warning: Comment may contain snark or sarcasm

  •  It's not like the NFL would be moving anywhere... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish

    Conservatives always say: "Increasing tax on the rich will make them move away".

    1) Where? Europe?
    2) Where would NFL go?

    NFL is not covered by Citizen United, they get plenty of public money, time to stop the TAX EXEMPTION! Otherwise, that's a league of TAKERS!!!

  •  TAX the NFL (0+ / 0-)

    oh LORD - the world may end now..... i am Agreeing with a republican........ yikes scary as it is he is Right (& no that was not meant to be a pun)

  •  Tax-exempt basis (0+ / 0-)

    The real basis for any tax-exempt award should be "service and benefit to humanity," and as such, all entertainment (sports) organizations (with exception of organizations promoting events like Special Olympics) would NOT and should not be exempt from taxes.

  •  Is this fake story still getting pushed? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dvd Avins, Kane in CA

    There's a bigger reason that "Taxing sports leagues would not exactly raise big bucks for the federal government"

    and that reason is because THEY ALREADY PAY TAXES ON THAT MONEY. That $109 mil isn't even real because the NFL head office skips tax breaks it could be using.

    The Kos is better than fake boogeyman stories like this

  •  Next let's tax churches. (0+ / 0-)

    The ones that are really operating charities will do fine.  The rest?  I can't wait.

  •  Why this issue REALLY does NOT matter (0+ / 0-)

    Here's the reality - if the NFL actually pulls a profit, which, for the sake of argument, it might, then it won't actually pay any taxes.  

    What WILL happen is that the NFL will form a master limited partnership (MLP), where all "profits," if there are any, will be distributed to its 32 owners, i.e., the teams.  Then, whatever profits are there will subsidize the teams.  However, if the league loses money in a year, those losses will go to the teams, which can use Section 469 of the tax code to offset other gains.  I work for a MLP, and they are set up to push all the profits out to the owners, minimizing tax burdens to the company.  

    This is about optics, not necessarily about taxes.  However, the image of a $10 billion sports league as a non-profit is bizarre.  

  •  You Sure He's A Republican (0+ / 0-)

    I agree with him despite his poor choice of parties.
     It was only recently that I found out the NFL payed no taxes, enjoying the same liberties as the Red Cross or any other charity. Outraged or blown out of my chair would be appropriate descriptions of my reaction.
     States pony up to pay for their multi-million dollar stadiums, but no taxes on the monies made from TV commercials, airing games, every type of player endorsement, & on & on into the Trillions. Outrageous. This better gain some traction. I an now going to check the other major sport leagues, the NFL may not be the only well fed child of politics at its dirtiest.

  •  More Taxless Insanity (0+ / 0-)

    "The National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) classify themselves as non-profit organizations to exempt themselves from federal income taxes on earnings.

    And Pro Basketball & other leagues may be listed as 501-c-3 charitable organizations.
    These taxes if collected would obviously be in the many millions of dollars. Whose ass got rimmed with huge campaign contributions back when this travesty started?

  •  *NO* NFL team loses money. None. (0+ / 0-)

    I have a close relative who has been intimately involved in NFL operations over the last 5 decades. He was a college roommate and wedding-party guest of one of the league's long-term owners.

    Over the last 50 years or so, he has done accounting and tax law work for three NFL franchises: one very successful one with a championship dynasty, a middle-of-the pack franchise, and one of the league's doormats.

    Amont the things he has told me:

    *  ALL NFL franchcises make money, every year, and tons of it.

    * Any bookkeeping figures purporting to show franchises losing money are utterly concocted, usually for tax avoidance purposes.

    *  The last time any NFL team lost money on actual operations was probably the early 1960s.

    * If the public became aware of the amount of taxpayer subsidy money flowing to billion-dollar NFL franchises, 'there would be rioting in the streets.' A huge amount of money is spent by the leagues and franchises on lobbying politicians to make sure this public gravy train continues to run smoothly.

    * VERY few NFL franchises (in fact, very few 'major league' franchises in the 'four major sports,' ) pay ANY NET TAXES AT ALL.

    Whatever money teams may pay in in tax assessments, it is almost always shuffled back to them in a shell-game of exemptions, tax credits, sweetheart giveaway concession and real estate deals. The huge majority of pro sports franchises effectively pay no taxes at all -- ever.

  •  I dislike sports. (0+ / 0-)

    They remind me too much of mandatory Phys Ed classes.

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