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Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:28 PM

David Sirota: The Sports Tax


from truthdig:



The Sports Tax

Posted on Feb 8, 2013
By David Sirota


When it comes to sports and taxes, I’m like most Americans. I like downing a beer and watching a good game every now and again, and I’m fine with paying my fair share of taxes for genuine societal necessities. What I’m not OK with is paying a skyrocketing Sports Tax at a time of burgeoning deficits, reduced household income and serious cutbacks to social safety net programs.

That term—Sports Tax—is not hyperbolic. In a week that saw Louisiana fork over $5 million to the NFL for the privilege of helping that league make big Super Bowl money, Sports Tax is the most accurate catch-all label for the four sets of levies the public is being made to shell out.

The first Sports Tax comes from the higher taxes we all pay in order to fund direct handouts. Just as NFL owners convinced Louisiana politicians to give them that $5 million taxpayer subsidy, similar collusions between team owners and lawmakers have been forcing taxpayers everywhere to do much the same. In all, Bloomberg Businessweek reports that “taxpayers have committed $18.6 billion since 1992 to subsidies for the NFL’s 32 teams, counting the expense of building stadiums, forgone real estate taxes, land and infrastructure improvements, and interest costs on public bonds.” That’s almost $1 billion every year—and that’s just for football, meaning the figure isn’t even counting similar handouts for other leagues.

The second Sports Tax comes in the form of a rigged tax code, which effectively compels honest taxpayers to bankroll professional teams. As Republican Sen. Tom Coburn detailed in a report last year, the NFL, NHL, PGA (among others) use special provisions in that code “to exempt themselves from federal income taxes on earnings.” The report concluded that because of this, “Taxpayers may be losing at least $91 million subsidizing these tax loopholes for professional sports leagues that generate billions of dollars annually in profits.” ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_sports_tax_20130208/



11 replies, 1176 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply David Sirota: The Sports Tax (Original post)
marmar Feb 2013 OP
Sherman A1 Feb 2013 #1
WCGreen Feb 2013 #2
Sherman A1 Feb 2013 #4
WCGreen Feb 2013 #5
bluestateguy Feb 2013 #3
Mr.Bill Feb 2013 #6
Sherman A1 Feb 2013 #9
Brigid Feb 2013 #7
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #8
malthaussen Feb 2013 #10
antigop Feb 2013 #11

Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:59 PM

1. K&R

Looks like St. Louis will be losing the Rams within the next few years as they cannot come up with the money to build the team their new & improved stadium as the city & state are still paying off the bonds for the current one and in the Rams opinion, it's just not up to snuff any more.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 07:03 PM

2. I really enjoy sports but I am so sick and tired of paying for the venue these owners use

as bargaining tools by threatening to move.

We have a $250 million dollar stadium which the Browns use 12 days a year, a few country music shows swoop in and that's about it. The Indians have their Ball Park, the Cavs have their own Arena and yet we can't find enough money to fund our schools....



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Response to WCGreen (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 07:17 PM

4. If you feel that way & you enjoy sports

think of how those of us who find professional sports to be boring feel about the situation.

I personally never wanted the Rams to come to St. Louis and certainly, never wanted to help pay for them to do so.

Pro Sports is part of the entertainment industry and I get that people enjoy different forms of entertainment. Good for everyone, I just think that the teams should pay their own way.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 07:41 PM

5. Especially with the money they make from Broadcasts and all the other crap they sell...

That's not even counting the tickets...

It's a fucking racket.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 07:04 PM

3. I have always opposed subsidies and tax treats for sports stadiums

The teams promise major economic benefits, but all they really generate is a bunch more minimum wage jobs or support for existing minimum wage jobs. And stadiums generate traffic, which actually hurts economic growth.

It also greatly annoys me when teams get subsidies for new stadiums, and then the ticket prices are still very expensive. So then you have lower income taxpayers paying for stadiums that they won't be enjoy as a spectator because the tickets are too expensive.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 07:48 PM

6. AT&T Park in San Francisco

was built with no taxpayer dollars. It can be done.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:54 AM

9. Of course it can be done

it just generally isn't done as we know.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 08:16 PM

7. Last I heard,

We're still paying off Market Square Arena here -- and that was demolished well over a decade ago. What the status is on the Bankers Life and Lucas Oil venues, I don't know. But taxpayers should never have to fund these extravagances. Let these rich team owners pay for them. If they move because taxpayers won't do it in a given city, they move. Who cares?

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 11:58 PM

8. Dont forget the "build use a new stadium or we move" dance. Seattle is currently

participating for a basketball team. The teams play one city against another to see whose got the most gullible taxpayers. In Seattle the Mariners promised to pay the cost overruns for a new stadium. Bingo-bango when overruns happened guess who fought it in court?

The general public are rubes. Easily fleeced by pro sports owners. That's how Georgie Bush made his first millions.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:59 AM

10. Our government has improved on Rome.

In Rome, the bread and circuses were free. Amateurs.

-- Mal

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:31 AM

11. David Cay Johnston video:on pro sports subsidies

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xgk4ez_david-cay-johnston-on-pro-sports-subsidies_news#.URZqQqPNm6I

David Cay Johnston wrote Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and StickYou with the Bill)

and

The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind

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