Time To End Sports Welfare?

December 15, 2012 in Daily Bulletin, Signature

Here at Centives we’re all about finding bipartisan solutions to help ameliorate America’s deficit problems. Patrick Hruby pointed out that one easy way would be to end the billions of dollars of tax payer money that goes to benefit sports leagues or, as he calls it, sports welfare. Highlights include:

  • Between 2000 and 2006 the average taxpayer contribution to each sports stadium was as high as $280 million – equivalent to 15 Saturn V moon launches. Teams get this by asking for handouts and threatening to move elsewhere if they don’t get them.
  • Some taxpayers are continuing to pay off the debt incurred from stadiums that have already been demolished.
  • Regressive taxes are usually used to pay for the stadiums – meaning that the poor are paying while relatively rich sports fans benefit.
  • This money ultimately doesn’t go to benefit local economies. Instead it goes to rich players who spend it in the cities that they live in.
  • Sports leagues generally classify themselves as non-profit organizations, getting massive tax advantages.
  • Other examples of sports welfare include:
    • Allowing players to mark fines as a deductible expense.
    • A tax loophole created by a former baseball owner that allows teams to treat players as depreciable assets – similar to computers.
    • The Pentagon spends $80 million sponsoring NASCAR, cage fighting, and bass fishing vents.
    • A tax write-off for ‘donations’ from fans who get season passes in return.

The full article is quite long and very comprehensive. Some of the things will likely surprise you; head on over here to read it.

Source: Sports on Earth