Congressman Jason Chaffetz is a conservative Republican from Utah. I’m a liberal from New York. Usually, I don’t see eye to eye with Chaffetz, but this week, he’s showed me some common ground.
This week, Chaffetz presented H.R. 3965, the Properly Reducing Overexemptions for Sports Act, to the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation would prohibit professional sports leagues from claiming the tax-exempt status of non-profit organizations. “In reality, the NFL and the NHL are for-profit businesses, and they should be taxed as such. They are not charities nor are they traditional trade organizations like local chambers of commerce,” Chaffetz said as he introduced his bill.
The National Football League, National Hockey League, Professional Golf Association Tour, and Ladies Professional Golf Association all have offices that are registered as tax-exempt non-profit organizations. However, even apart from their member teams, players, and other subsidiaries, these professional sports leagues have annual receipts of 1.7 billion dollars. The purpose of these sports leagues is not charitable. It’s to make money.
Extra points go to Representative Chaffetz for having the chutzpah to point these things out just a few days before the Super Bowl.