Corporate Welfare Feedback Loop

John Ross discusses the absurd tax exemption enjoyed by major sports leagues like the NFL

I was particularly struck by this

as a tax-exempt entity, [the NFL] doesn’t pay taxes on the income that it earns. The NFL has managed to keep its income earnings a little on a low side by paying its top executives corporate-level salaries—eight NFL execs took home compensation of $51.5 million in 2010. The teams get to write off their NFL membership dues, roughly $6 million per team, for the privilege of belonging to this unusual trade association, and that money is put into a stadium fund that provides interest-free loans to teams so long as they get taxpayer financing on stadium construction and improvement costs.

So NFL teams pay dues to the NFL, and get to write the cost of those dues off on their taxes.  But the NFL pays not taxes on the dues it receives   It then puts these dues in a fund that the teams can use, but ONLY if they go out and extort further taxpayer gifts for their stadiums.  Ugh.


  1. SamWah:

    And the cities are always willing to pony up, so it works. One has to wonder just where the fix got in.

  2. Dick Gillette:

    This is truly outrageous. They must have a hard time keeping a straight face when somebody brings it up.

  3. MNHawk:

    /NFL fan mode on

    But it's welfare for me! It's about time I get some free s**t back out of all the taxes I pay.

    /NFL fan mode off

    Not to fret. The NFL is gone in 10 years or so, after the High School and College farm system gets shut down in the face of massive law suits for head injuries. Right about the time when Minnesota's new billion dollar tax payer funded McMansion Stadium gets finished.