Senator Tom Coburn Wants To End NFL’s Tax Exempt Status

The NFL is one of the most unlikely tax exempt organizations in all of the United States. Senator Tom Colburn (R-OK) thinks it is high time that the exemption be revoked.

In order to revoke that particular exemption, the United States senator is looking to attach an amendment onto the Marketplace Fairness Act. This bill would place a tax onto web purchases anywhere in the country. Currently every state has a different rule about whether or not sales taxes are assessed on purchases made over the web.

Colburn doesn’t really seem to have a problem with bringing a more uniform tax approach to Internet sales, but it is his attempt to remove a status that probably shouldn’t be on professional sports leagues that is getting the attention now.

The NFL and other professional sports leagues are taxed as if they were charitable organizations. Senator Colburn has pointed out that while they may engage in charitable acts from time to time, they are profitable organizations that are in the business of making money.

Colburn also pointed out that taxpayers are losing around $91 million a year thanks to pro sports leagues saving money on taxes. These are the same leagues that are doling out hundreds of millions of dollars to grown men to play games.

The loophole that the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the NBA are using is the assumption that they are working to promote the sports they participate in general. The problem with that assumption is that most of the pro sports leagues have been promoting themselves rather than the sport in general.

When other professional football leagues have popped up, the National Football League has worked hard to make sure they don’t succeed at the same level they currently exist.

Unfortunately, the NFL and the rest of the pro sports leagues that benefit from this loophole are likely off the hook as the amendment ins’t likely to get a vote.