Who knew that the NFL could be tax exempt? The recent controversy with players protesting the national anthem has caused a Republican member of the House Oversight Committee to introduce new legislation that would revoke major professional sports league’s status as exempt from taxes.
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) filed the bill — continuing an effort from former Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) — in the midst of President Trump’s criticism of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against minorities.
“Professional sports leagues should not be exempt from paying taxes,” Farenthold said in a statement. “These are highly profitable businesses that make tens of millions of dollars each year and have been exploiting loopholes to game the system. It’s time we blow the whistle on this foul, and get this bill over the goal line.”
The new legislation is titled the Properly Reducing Overexemptions for Sports Act; it would specifically prevent professional sports leagues from registering as nonprofits if they have annual revenues of more than $10 million.
Farenthold’s bill focuses on leagues like the NHL, PGA Tour, and LPGA as examples of entities that would be affected. The NFL’s League Office voluntarily gave up their tax exempt status over criticism in 2015. This bill would prevent them from registering as a nonprofit, instead of voluntarily choosing not to do so.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) is also asking for the elimination of all federal support for professional sports leagues. NFL teams have received funds in the past from the Defense Department so that the military could be promoted during games. But Brooks sent out a letter on Tuesday urging Trump to also end government advertising on any broadcasts of sporting events by leagues or teams that participate in protests during the national anthem.
“We see no reason why federal taxpayers should spend any money, directly or indirectly, supporting professional sports teams or leagues that disrespect America’s flag or anthem,” the letter states.
What do you think about these efforts to make sure that sports teams cannot be tax exempt?
Credit: The Hill