Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why Is The NFL Allowed Non-Profit Status?

I don't get it.  Though I do know many who watch religiously.
Did you know that the National Football League is a nonprofit, and hasn't paid a dime in taxes since 1966? As a lifelong football fan, I was shocked to discover that I haven't just paid to watch games and bought NFL merchandise since I was 6 years old -- I've been paying higher taxes as an adult to make-up for the NFL's share.

Some of my best memories are football related. I remember standing in line in 1987 to get John Elway's autograph, and the famous playoff drive. I love the parity of the NFL, and I believe the league provides an important service by ensuring that the league remains strong and that competitive games are well-organized. But that service doesn't justify the NFL being granted nonprofit status -- like soup kitchens and charities have -- that allows it to avoid paying taxes, especially as top executives are paid up to $29 million per year.

I was shocked to learn that the last time the NFL paid taxes was 1966, when lobbyists convinced Congress to pass an obscure provision that expanded the definition of 501(c)6 not-for-profit organizations in the Internal Revenue Code to include "professional football leagues." The 1966 law gave the NFL a way to skirt taxes, while also granting it an uncommon antitrust exemption allowing it to create a monopoly to negotiate TV rights at the same time!
I get way too much junk mail from being involved in various causes.  But every so often I get something like this that's worth reading.

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