Today, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) introduced the PRO Sports Act, S. 1524, which would amend the tax code to prohibit professional sports organizations with annual revenues over $10 million from enjoying the same tax-exempt, 501(c)(6) status as industry trade associations and public interest groups.
"Tax earmarks are essentially tax increases for everyone who doesn't receive the benefit. In this case, working Americans are paying artificially high rates in order to subsidize special breaks for sports leagues. This is hardly fair," Dr. Coburn said. "This bill would require major professional sports leagues to be prohibited from qualifying as non-profit organizations under the tax code. This would help give all Americans, not just athletes and owners, a break and pave the way for the kind of tax reform and job creation our economy desperately needs."
Currently, a number of professional sports leagues have central offices registered as 501(c)(6) tax-exempt organizations allowing for the opportunity for their revenue to be tax-free. Leagues qualify for the tax-exempt status by stating their purpose is to help promote their respective sports and membership instead of themselves. The PRO Sports Act will not impact leagues' 501(C)(3) charitable organizations.