NFL’s “Tax-Exemption” Status Brings Suspicion of Foul Play

NFL — The most lucrative sports brand in the world today. Reporting $9.5 billion dollars in revenue for 2012 (and climbing), the popular brand is somehow exempt as a “not-for-profit organization.” The last time the company payed taxes, it was 1966. Odd, especially when considering that the NFL’s commissioner Roger Goodell receives a $30 million dollar salary per year.

The NFL has made some efforts to uphold their status legitimacy. According to The Center for Responsive Politics, since 1992 they have spent $2 million in charitable contributions. In contrast, they spent $12.7 million on lobbying efforts since 1997.

As the news spreads on the exemption status, there has been an uproar of questions, which has pushed senators to call to question the legitimacy of the status. Thanks to Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, new legislation has been introduced, offering to put a stop to the exemption. The suggested law basically caps the exemption (501(c)(6)) to companies with revenue over $10 million. If passed, it would put a stop to many top ‘organizations’ like the NFL, NHL and the PGA who save an estimated 30% of their revenue from taxation annually.

Coburn: “Americans are paying artificially high rates in order to subsidize special breaks for sports leagues. This is hardly fair. This bill would require major professional sports leagues to be prohibited from qualifying as non-profit organizations under the tax code.

This would help give all Americans, not just athletes and owners, a break and pave the way for the kind of tax reform and job creation our economy desperately needs.”

A perfect example of what the power of spread knowledge can do. Keep an eye on the pending bill. If the NFL and other large ‘organizations’ are going to have the power to lobby to not pay a large sum of taxes, then how can they expect the people to pick-up their slack? After all, your taxes also pay for those hefty stadiums which the organizations profit from.