The Republican tax reform proposal will revoke billions that teams get in tax subsidies to build and operate sports stadiums across the country, according to several Washington sources.
The proposal would eliminate tax breaks cities and states get from the Federal government on borrowed money with which to build NFL stadiums.
“The proposed tax bill would target the tax exemption on municipal bonds,” NBC’s Pro Football Talk reports, “and those bonds have become a key piece of the $750 million in public funding that will build a new stadium for the Raiders in Las Vegas.”
The NFL, as you might expect, is crying the blues.
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“We believe that the construction of new stadiums and renovations of stadiums are economic drivers in local communities,” said NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart. “If the idea is to promote economic growth, this would be a step backwards.”
The Las Vegas Raiders is one team that could be one of the first to be affected by the proposed tax break elimination.
With the team’s recent move to Sin City, the plan to get the team up and running includes building one of the most expensive sports stadium complexes in U.S. history. The plan also features an incredible $750 million in publicly issued, tax-exempt bonds to fund its construction.
But according to the Associated Press, the new tax law would prevent the ability to issue those tax-exempt bonds putting the Raiders’ whole deal in jeopardy.
“The stadium, as designed, appears to meet the definition of a project that could not use tax-exempt bonds,” Las Vegas Stadium Authority and the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, Jeremy Aguero, told the AP. “That could potentially affect the financial models we have been using in estimating the potential cost of the project.”
But is the NFL spokesman right? Do big sports tax breaks bring even more in economic growth to any city that applies for them? Unfortunately, the truth seems to be that the millions that cities and states give sports teams are almost never returned in kind—and not just by the NFL, but this is generally true for all sports.
Now, Democrats will surely argue that those poor, hurting, poverty-stricken NFL owners get all of their free money and stadiums back.
Trump is cutting off the gravy train on behalf of American taxpayers.