December 15, 2017

Trump is right about NFL’s taxpayer subsidy

Lefties and all-purpose Trump-bashers called out president Trump’s complaint about the “NFL’s massive tax breaks.”

Time quickly labeled Trump’s objection as fake news in that the NFL (a trade association, as distinguished from individual team franchises) voluntarily forfeited its nonprofit status in 2015.

But as in most things Trump, he’s often short on clarity, but his macro point is usually right.

Thus, Trump’s grievance highlights the massive use of municipal bonds by state and local governments to finance NFL team stadiums.  Federal tax exemption on interest income to municipal bond holders, and capital gains on municipal bond trading, for NFL stadiums is more than $1 billion, according to Brookings.

Even stalwart progressives inside PBS have decried the use of public financing, receiving federal tax exemptions, noting that in his 2016 budget, President Obama proposed getting rid of the municipal bond tax exemption for financing sports stadiums.

The most egregious abuse of taxpayers’ largess is in St. Louis, where the Rams stadium financing is still being paid off, even after the Rams moved to L.A.

There is a playbook filled with reasons why the NFL is flailing, and failing – political correctness, capricious and arbitrary rulings under its ham-handed management of the collective bargaining agreement, willful ignorance of long-range trauma from in-game medical injuries, uncompetitive franchises, market oversaturation, and disrespecting NFL fandom.

Any form of federal subsidy of NFL teams, whether via anti-trust exemptions or favorable tax rules for financing of venues, is indefensible.  Trump’s critics can’t see the big picture, once again.

Source: American Thinker

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