Thursday, December 1, 2011

NFL Gets Pass on Paying Taxes at Indy's Super Bowl

Over at Advance Indiana, blogger Gary Welsh has an excellent article detailing all the tax breaks the NFL gets in conjunction with the Super Bowl:
Indianapolis Super Bowl organizers are continually touting the economic windfall Indianapolis will receive from hosting the 2012 Super Bowl. The tab to Indianapolis taxpayers for improvements and additional public safety expenditures to host the event, however, could top $25 million. Moreover, a special state tax exemption enacted especially to benefit the NFL and its affiliates for agreeing to play the 2012 Super Bowl at Lucas Oil Stadium will cost state and local governments tens of millions of dollars in lost revenues.

The Indiana Department of Revenue recently released a directive that details the breadth of the exclusion afforded the NFL for the Super Bowl. Among the taxes from which the NFL and its affiliates will receive an exemption include the following:
  • sales and use taxes
  • motor fuel taxes
  • auto rental tax
  • food and beverage tax
  • innkeeper's tax
  • county admissions tax
  • adjusted gross income tax
  • withholding taxes on salaries and wages
If you add the tax breaks all up, the NFL and its affiliates are receiving tax breaks reaching into the tens of millions of dollars. The NFL's income from the Super Bowl is likely well north of $1 billion, including $275 million in television ad revenues and an even larger sum for broadcasting rights....
None of the NFL employees working at the Super Bowl will be subject to withholding taxes on their salary and wages, and none of their nights spent in Indianapolis hotel rooms will be subject to Indianapolis' high combined innkeeper's and sales tax of nearly 20%. Cars they rent for use in Indianapolis will be exempt from the auto rental tax, and any gas they purchase for those rented vehicles will be exempt from motor fuel taxes. In addition to the large staff deployed to Indianapolis to put on the event, the NFL presumably picks up the hotel tab for the competing teams' players (53-team roster), coaches and staff, exempting their hotel rooms from those taxes. The CIB will lose at least $2 million in admissions taxes that would otherwise be collected from ticket sales to the game. Any money the NFL spends on lavish entertainment during Super Bowl events will be exempt from the 9% combined sales, food and beverages taxes.
To see the rest of the Advance Indiana article, click here.

If hosting a Super Bowl was such a good investment, you would have a lot more cities lined up to bid to host on it, rather than the 3 or so that are normally bidding. Every year, the price of hosting a Super Bowl increases and many cities have simply decided the return on the enormous public investment needed to put on the game is not worth it.  Now even taxes aren't being collected from our NFL visitors who come to the City to make money on the big game.  Is that really fair to the people who live here have and have to pay those taxes 365 days a year?


Downtown Indy said...

As Mel Brooks said "It's good to be da king!"

Marycatherine Barton said...

Yes, Gary did an excellent article on the numerous ways that the NFL is getting a pass on paying taxes at Indy's Super Bowl; and no, it is not at all fair to those of us who have to pay those taxes 365 days a year. Thanks for ending your great report with that rhetorical question, Paul. Our ruling County elite have no conscience.

Stew said...

I think the major issue facing our land today would be the U.S. Tax code. Its unfair, no matter what side of the debate you fall on. Just consider some of the methods legislatures (coming from each party) try to make up the major difference from income tax cutbacks. This isn't a tale: