Players’ Unions v. Jock Taxes: An Inside Look at This Waging Legal Battle

Last week, we reported that the NHL Players’ Association, MLB Players’ Association, and NFL Players’ Association sued the city of Pittsburgh for charging a fee on nonresident professional athletes that play within the city. These fees, often referred to as jock taxes, have come under fire over the past few years.

The players’ associations are not challenging the legality of jock taxes in general. It is well established that states and municipalities have the right to tax income earned by athletes in their jurisdiction. …

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NFL, MLB, and NHL Players’ Associations Sue Pittsburgh Over “Unconstitutional” Athletes Fee

The city of Pittsburgh is being challenged for a fee it is charging  nonresident professional athletes who play for Pittsburgh teams.

The NHL Players’ Association, MLB Players’ Association, and NFL Players’ Association, along with baseball player Jeff Francoeur and hockey players Kyle Palmieri and Scott Wilson, have sued the city of Pittsburgh. The city currently imposes a three percent general revenue income fee on professional athletes who reside out of state. Athletes who live in the city, however, pay only a one percent fee. Pittsburgh …

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The IRS Takes Gold in Rio

America’s Olympic Medalists in Rio will return to an unpleasant reality: a tax bill. Each medalist will be taxed on their award from the U.S. Olympic Committee and the monetary value of the medal itself. The U.S. Olympic Committee awards cash prizes to medal winners in the following amounts: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze. According the IRS, all cash prizes and awards are taxed as income earned abroad. The awards are treated the same as a lottery payout or casino …

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Soccer Superstar Lionel Messi Goes on Trial for Alleged Tax Fraud in Spain

In what has become a scandalous recent trend in the world of sports, Lionel Messi has become the latest high-profile soccer superstar to deal with Spain’s tough tax system and its legal enforcement. Messi’s tax trial began earlier this week in Barcelona, but the soccer legend finally had his day in court on Thursday, June 2, 2016.

On the stand Messi reiterated the theme his attorneys have been illustrating over the course of the week — that he had zero knowledge of the financial transactions …

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Senator Schumer Helps Broadway Get A Break

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is pushing Congress to support a bill giving tax breaks to the Broadway theater industry. Schumer’s bill would give Broadway theater a huge financial boost under a change in the federal tax code.

His proposal, recently passed by the State Finance Committee, would allow 100 percent of any live theatre investment to be deducted up to $15 million per production. This type of tax incentive is currently granted to television and film projects, but has yet to reach live theater. …

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Dolphins Owner Proposes New Deal to Fund Stadium Renovations

Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross has come up with a new proposal to fund the $400 million renovations to Sun Life Stadium.  Last year, Ross asked for government assistance to fund nearly all of the cost.  However, now Ross says he is willing to privately finance the renovations if the team can stop paying property taxes on the stadium.

Ross has been pushing for government assistance since acquiring 95% ownership of the Dolphins in 2009.  That push was heightened in 2012 when Miami was in …

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The Atlanta Braves Are One Step Closer to a New Field

The Atlanta Braves are “thrilled” that the Cobb County Commission voted in favor of a public financing deal that will move the team out of downtown Atlanta for the first time since 1966.

On November 26, 2013, by a 4-1 vote, the commissioners approved spending $300 million in tax revenues to fund part of a new $672 million Braves stadium.  The new field will open in 2017 and will be located in an Atlanta suburb.  The plan calls for the reallocation of current Cobb County …

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The Ugly Truth of Public Financing

Despite research showing stadiums are a poor use of tax dollars, professional sports complexes are continually financed by cities, counties, and states. In the most recent example, Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves announced the team will move to a neighboring county after being promised $300 million in public funds for a new stadium, but some politicians plan to oppose the deal.

For years, economists have been telling a different story than team owners want taxpayers to believe. Owners argue that a new stadium will …

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