Today is Super Bowl Sunday. For those who don’t follow professional football, this is the league’s championship game and the biggest sporting event on the American sports calendar.
The National Football League, like other sports leagues, is a major money-maker. Every year, the NFL pulls in somewhere close to $10 BILLION. The League’s goal is to make $25 BILLION a year by 2027.
Here’s the thing: The NFL doesn’t pay Federal taxes. That’s because it is technically classified as a non-profit corporation.
The NFL brings in more revenue than the Red Cross, Goodwill, the YMCA, or the Salvation Army.
So why is the National Football League, like so many other professional sports leagues, able to avoid paying taxes? Because Congress crafted them an exemption years ago!
Here is how conniving the NFL has been. They lobbied Congress back in 1966 and officially got permission to act as a monopoly as long as they didn’t compete with High School and College football games on Friday and Saturday night.
At that particular moment, the law was changed to add “professional football leagues” to the IRS code, allowing the NFL to become a non-profit.
The National Hockey League (NHL), Professional Golf Association (PGA), and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) also enjoy tax exempt status. All in all, there are ten professional sports leagues that are avoiding paying taxes because Congress allows them to be tax-exempt organizations
These leagues generate billions and billions of dollars every year… very little of which is actually taxable.
That means that YOU and I, along with every other American, are paying more money out of our pockets to cover the slack.
Look at it this way. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell makes $44 million every year. He doesn’t make that much for his philanthropy. He is rewarded for bringing revenue into the league. The NFL makes more money than any other non-profit on earth.
Before he retired from the Senate, Tom Coburn (R-OK) introduced legislation to stop sports leagues from taking advantage of American taxpayers. “Americans are paying artificially high rates in order to subsidize special breaks for sports leagues,” Coburn said, “that means you may be paying a slightly higher tax rate than is necessary to subsidize Jerry Jones and Tiger Woods.”
As a 501(c)6, the NFL is not allowed to engage in business “ordinarily carried on for a profit.” The NFL, like other sports leagues, is violating this rule on a daily basis by charging obscene prices on everything from apparel to broadcast rights.
We need to wake up, America. We need to put a stop to this. Because as former-Senator Coburn said, we are all paying more out of our pockets so that these sports leagues can avoid paying Federal taxes. It’s just so wrong.
It is not enough to just shake our heads at how multi-billion dollar corporations are able to skirt our tax laws. Shaking our heads won’t do anything to fix this.
It’s time to rise up and demand that these professional sports leagues, which act like for-profit businesses, be forced to pay taxes just like the rest of us!