Support is lining up to bring an end to the non-profit tax-exempt status of the National Football League. One question: Why should citizens pick up the taxation slack for an organization that scorns those same citizens by blacking out access to its games?
There is of course more to it than just blackouts – the NFL also hits up local taxpayers for new stadiums or for fixing up old ones.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has been seeking to bring the tax-exempt status of the NFL to an end as simple matter of tax fairness. He is concerned that every dollar not paid by this organizations ends up on the tax bill of other businesses and American citizens in general – and he sees no reason for the rest of America to be subsidizing leagues and their players.
A fan in New Orleans has started a petition on Change.org to take away the status and has received some 285K signatures. The fan, Lynda Woolard, says she’s a diehard fan of the New Orleans Saints, but also feels she’s paying far too much to support the team.
She stated, “Whether it’s paying for new stadiums, paying for renovations, or seeing games get blacked out and kicked off of television in their own hometowns, fans seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to the NFL. Making sure the NFL is paying their fair share, and not hiding behind a nonprofit status, seems like it only levels the playing field.”
Her petition is backed by the Sports Fans Coalition, which promises to lobby Congress on this topic.
According to SFC, Coburn believes the NFL would be good for about $91M in tax revenue annually.
According to Woolard, the commissioner of the NFL makes about $30M a year, and doesn’t believe that is that should be rung up on the account of the average American taxpayer, particularly when Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association operate as for-profit businesses.