(National Sentinel) NFHell: The National Football League continues to be on the wrong side of President Donald J. Trump’s agenda, this time coming out in opposition of the just-passed tax reform bill pushed through by the Republican majority.
While other professional sports leagues are staying out of the political battle, the NFL — even as it continues to deal with fallout from players protesting during the National Anthem — has decided to jump in.
At issue: The league doesn’t want to lose a special tax break that allows them to use tax-free bonds to build stadiums, the Washington Times reported.
“You can look around the country and see the economic development that’s generated from some of these stadiums,” Joe Lockhart, a former press secretary for President Clinton and now an NFL spokesman, told reporters on a conference call last week, according to Reuters.
Representatives from Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League declined to comment on the tax bill, the Times noted.
Tax-free municipal bonds are generally used for roads, hospitals and other infrastructure, but some cities have extended them to the construction of sports venues.
But the House GOP, looking to simplify the tax code and eliminate these kinds of special breaks, put restrictions in the tax reform legislation that would disallow teams from taking advantage of the bonds.
“Although stadium construction for multimillion-dollar sports franchises may have some local economic benefit, that is not the responsibility of the federal government,” he told the Times in a statement.
Lankford has long opposed using municipal bonds for stadium construction.
“The federal debt is now at a ridiculous $20 trillion. Using billions of federal taxpayer dollars for the subsidization of private stadiums, when we have real infrastructure needs in our country, is not a good way to prioritize our limited amount of money,” he added.
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Taxpayers have underwritten about $13 billion in bonds for stadium construction projects for the NFL and other sports since 2000, according to a Brookings Institution study.
Brookings estimates that the federal government has lost as much as $3.7 billion in tax revenue on the bonds, exceeding the $3.2 billion in savings they have created for team owners.
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