Tags: nfl | legislation | revoke | nonprofit | status

Booker, Cantwell Will Push to Revoke NFL Nonprofit Status

Image: Booker, Cantwell Will Push to Revoke NFL Nonprofit Status
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., left, and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images ;Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 19 Sep 2014 12:08 PM

On the heels of domestic battery scandals that have rocked the NFL, the organization may take a beating financially if New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is successful in passing legislation to strip the league of its tax-exempt status and steer money toward domestic violence prevention programs, Politico reports.

"Stopping domestic violence is a national priority that requires long-term, meaningful investment," said Booker, a Democrat. "This common-sense update to our tax laws would save more than $100 million over 10 years — money that can instead be used to pay for vital support programs that have seen their funding slashed in recent years due to sequestration and gridlock."

Booker has joined the growing chorus of voices in the Senate calling to force the world’s most valuable athletics league — with an estimated annual revenue of $9 billion last year, according to The Huffington Post — to become a for-profit business that would be taxed accordingly.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington state, this week announced plans to introduce legislation removing tax-exempt status for the league.

Cantwell made her announcement during a news conference with Native American leaders trying to pressure Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change the team’s name.

Earlier this year, according to Forbes, Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn and Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine, co-sponsored the PRO Sports Act, formally known as the Properly Reducing Overexemptions For Sports Act. The bill is in the Finance Committee, Huffington Post says.

In addition to the NFL, Booker’s proposed legislation would cover nine other professional sports leagues, including the National Hockey League (NHL), the Professional Golf Association (PGA), and U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), which also have the same 501(c)(6) tax status, a loophole that requires the 32 individual teams to pay taxes on revenues for tickets, television rights and jersey sales, according to ABC News, but exempts the dues teams pay to support the leagues’ front offices.

The NFL, which paid Commissioner Roger Goodell $44.2 million in 2012, maintains that it is a trade organization responsible for things like negotiating collective bargaining agreements, hiring referees and writing rules.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) are both for-profit organizations, Huffington Post reports.

Coburn’s PRO Sports Act seeks to exclude from tax exempt status professional sports leagues grossing more than $10 million.

The NFL has been in the spotlight for a rash of players have been charged with violent domestic assaults. A recent video published by TMZ Sports showed Baltimore Ravens running back knocking his wife unconscious in a casino elevator.

Days later photos surfaced of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s four-year-old son, who was allegedly whipped repeatedly by his father with a tree branch.

And Arizona police this week charged a third running back, the Cardinals' Jonathan Dwyer, with aggravated assault on a 27-year-woman and the couple’s 18-month-old child, according to Fox News.

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On the heels of domestic battery scandals that have rocked the NFL, the organization may take a beating financially if New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is successful in passing legislation to strip the league of its tax-exempt status and steer money toward domestic violence...
nfl, legislation, revoke, nonprofit, status
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2014-08-19
Friday, 19 Sep 2014 12:08 PM
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