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NFL No Longer Tax Exempt


For the first time in the National Football League’s existence it is no longer a tax-exempt organization. Commissioner Rodger Goodell announced these changes about two weeks ago.

Goodell called the debate over the finer points of the NFL’s finances a “distraction.” The debate from two senators threatening to revoke the NFL’s non-profit designation was centered around two worldwide political disasters. One senator’s rationale was in retaliation to the NFL’s refusal to force the Washington DC franchise to transform its name so that their brand would not have a racial slur to it, while the other wanted to use the IRS against the NFL for its domestic violence issues.

After making a final revenue of $9 billion dollars last year, it’s about time the taxes applied to those benefiting from a league making the most money in any pro sport. The NFL has been considered a non-for profit organization since the 1940’s basically for the reason that congress “said so”. The NFL, like trade associations, real estate boards and chambers of commerce fall under the 50(c)(6) designation allowing them to claim “NP”.

And just to add some fuel to the flame, the commissioner himself made an incredible $35 million dollars in 2013. Although the entities that sustain the NFL such as TV rights, licensing agreements, sponsorships, and ticket sales are and will be continued to be taxed, the new title will not create a big financial hit. It’s a pretty disgusting to think how much money is generated by the team who charge 15 dollars a beer, 7 for a hot dog, thirty-five bucks for parking and at least one hundred for a ticket have to claim themselves as a “for-profit” organization, yet the league was tax exempt for 75 years.

In addition, the league has expressed in the past that all on-field fines go to charitable organizations including ones that help take care of retired players. Even though a player may request what cause the lump sum is donated towards, that’s not to say the NFL can use some of the funds collected to subsidize its NFL Play 60 youth program. In retrospect the league looks like (and is) helping kids become active, but they also benefit from a creative publicity stunt where look good to fans helping kids become active, but also use the program as a way to market their NFL brand.


Author: Tyler Edgerton




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