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Uhhhh, might he be right this time?

Gazette staff September 18th, 2013

For all intents and purposes, sports are big (like, really big) businesses. Both collegiate and professional sports routinely rake in billions of dollars each year, yet, for whatever reason, these organizations were deemed untouchable — something the feds ought to keep their dirty little hands off of, no matter how high the dollar amounts.

Worry not! In another striking moment of sanity, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Muskogee) questioned the legitimacy of assigning nonprofit status to several tax-exempt, profit-making professional sports organizations, including the National Football League, National Hockey League and Professional Golf Association.

The NFL? It raked in a cool $9.5 billion in 2012. Ho-hum.

Like so many big businesses, the aforementioned organizations enjoy large tax breaks thanks to federal tax loopholes (because, ’Merica!). By closing said loopholes, Coburn believes more government revenue would be generated — an incredibly logical deduction.

“Major professional sports leagues should no longer be eligible for general federal tax exemption,” Coburn said in an October 2012 report.

As federal debt solutions remain at the forefront of the U.S. Congress, the nonprofit status of the NFL, NHL and PGA remains affixed to Coburn’s debt-reducing proposals, this time as an amendment to the Marketplace Fairness Act, which is at this very moment sitting on a desk on Capitol Hill, collecting dust. (This is Congress we’re talking about here.)

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