The game with NFL tax exempt status
That’s right the multi-billion dollar enterprise known as the National Football League has a tax exempt status. Let that one just roll around in your brain for a minute or two. Multi-billion dollar business… tax exempt status.
Uhhhhhhhhhh… whats the problem?
The NFL tax exempt status comes from the fact that it is classified as a 501(c)(6) non-profit according to the tax code. And as we all know, whenever the term 501(c) comes up the news, whatever comes next is usually going to make you mad.
WARNING! YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ THE USA TAX CODE, BE ADVISED THAT IT IS VERY BORING! USE CAUTION, DO NOT OPERATE HEAVY MACHINERY OR A MOTOR VEHICLE WHILE READING THE TAX CODE.
“IRC 501(c)(6) provides for exemption of business leagues, chambers of
commerce, real estate boards, boards of trade, and professional football
leagues (whether or not administering a pension fund for football players),
which are not organized for profit and no part of the net earnings of which
inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.” – The IRS tax code
So at this point you may be wondering why the NFL tax exempt status is a thing. It all comes down to the same thing that most problems in America come down to, lobbying.
“The exemption for football stems from lobbying efforts by Pete Rozelle in the 1960s to earn an antitrust exemption for the merger of the NFL and AFL. The antitrust and tax exemptions were cleverly attached to an uncontroversial 1966 bill to “suspend the investment credit and the allowance of accelerated depreciation in the case of certain real property.” The NFL-AFL merger language was included at the end of the bill that had nothing else to do with football.” – Brian Frederick of the Huffington Post
This should not be a surprise though. These sorts of… ah hem… strong arm tactics are nothing new to the NFL, and I’m not talking about on field play. The NFL and its franchises are know for cleverly getting the public to foot the bill for their stadiums. Last time I checked those stadiums cost A LOT of money too!
Now I am not suggesting that cities should not have stadiums, or that they shouldn’t contribute finacially in some small ways. After all, they do bring in a lot of money for cities. But for the NFL to threaten cities with pulling their team if they don’t get a new stadium is something that a child trowing a tantrum would do.
Are you pissed? Do something!
Every time I hear about crap like this I usually get pretty pissed off. Corporations figuring out ways to screw over tax payers is kind of a little pet peeve of mine. Very rarely is there anything that you can do about it.
But then the internet happened.
There is a fantastic site out there called Change.org, which is an online petition site. Normal people can start a petition about anything, get lots of signitures, and then hopefully change something. As luck would have it, there is a petition on Change.org that is looking to solve the NFL tax exempt status problem!
Go there, participate in some democracy, and buy yourself a beer when you are done.
PS. In case you missed it, petition on Change.org