The NFL’s tax-exempt status is, as the refs might say, “under further review.”
Despite having grown over the decades into an estimated $9 billion-a-year operation, the NFL retains a non-profit status, just like trade associations and chambers of commerce.
The status, dating back to the 1960s, was granted to help the once-fledgling operation get started and applies only to the league’s so-called “front office” — which is run like a non-profit in that it collects dues from its 32 teams to pay for such operational costs as referees’ salaries, the college draft and executive paychecks.
But critics argue that hugely profitable sports enterprises — including those that frequently strong-arm taxpayers into financing their multi-million dollar stadiums — should get no such benefit.
The lone Capitol Hill lawmaker pushing for the change is Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, a fiscal hawk whose annual “waste-book” draws attention to the NFL exemption and millions of dollars in other potential government waste.
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