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Tax exemption for pro sports leagues targeted in new federal legislation

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Federal lawmakers are again pushing to remove the tax exemption used by many professional sports leagues and associations.

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst’s bill would bar any pro league that makes more than $10 million annually from being 501(c)6 tax exempt. She estimates that it would save $100 million over 10 years. The NFL, for whom the tax exemption was crafted in the 1940s, gave up its exempt status in 2015. Major League Baseball dropped it in 2007. Many organizations such as the PGA Tour and the National Hockey League are still nonprofits.

“Professional sports leagues – which are raking in millions of dollars from television rights and membership dues – shouldn’t also be scoring a hole-in-one with their taxes,” Ernst said in a release.

That amount of additional revenue may not balance the budget but supporters say the principle of tax cuts for connected businesses sets a poor precedent.

“$100 million over the course of 10 years in the grand scheme of things is not a lot of money, but the precedent is that we need to start getting rid of things like this, otherwise the debt isn’t going to go down,” said Alec Fornwalt, policy analyst with the Tax Foundation. “If we keep cutting taxes and we leave things like this carved out, the debt won’t go down.”

Many organizations that used the exemption didn’t save much money. The NFL actually posted a loss in a number of years and didn’t qualify for any breaks, but others did.

“The PGA now saves millions of dollars in taxes,” Fornwalt said. “It really has to do with how these organizations have moved themselves around this status.”

Similar legislation has been proposed in the past but has never gotten much traction.

Fornwalt said it was due to the lobbying efforts, and a couple well-timed pro golfer appearances, that it was removed from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that passed in December.

This would not stop organizations from convincing local governments to pay for their stadiums, something Illinoisans are all too familiar with.

Ernst’s bill was referred to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee for consideration.

Article by Cole Lauterbach with Illinois News Network. For more INN News visit ILnews.org 

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Illinois News Network, publisher of ILNews.org, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media company dedicated to the principles of transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility in the state of Illinois. INN is Illinois’ pioneering non-profit news brand, offering content from the statehouse and beyond to Illinoisans through their local media of choice and from their digital hub at ILNews.org. Springfield Daily was granted republishing permission by INN.

Announcements

Southeast seeking donations for e-sports team

Thomas Clatterbuck

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Competitive video gaming, or E-sports, is one of the fastest growing competitive scenes in the world. And that scene is making its way to Central Illinois. The Illinois College e-sports team regularly competes against Big 10 schools and semipro teams. Southeast Springfield High School is looking to join the action. Southeast will be the first high school in Springfield to field an e-sports team.

E-sports, like any other team, is an opportunity to students to represent their school and get a real shot at a scholarship. But while e-sports don’t require the large facilities that other sports do, they do have equipment costs. Computers, mice, headsets, and the other kit necessary to take part can be out of reach for some students.

To make sure all students have the opportunity to showcase their talents, Southeast coach Dalton McGhiey is asking for donations on his go fund me page. You can learn more about the Southeast team on their campaign page as well.

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Announcements

Abe’s Roundball Classic set for holiday week

Staff Contributor

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Abe’s Roundball Classic boys basketball tournament is set for Tuesday, Nov. 20, Wednesday, Nov. 21, Friday, Nov. 23, and Saturday, Nov. 24, at Lincoln Land Community College Cass Gymnasium. This event will feature eight boys basketball teams from across the state, including District 186’s own Lanphier Lions. Green Family Stores is sponsoring the tournament.

The tournament is an opportunity for local student athletes to compete against teams they would not see in their regular season, and gives Springfield a chance to watch nationally ranked recruits and student athletes who have been invited to Olympic trials. Chicago Orr is the defending 2A state champion and ranked preseason number one, and North Chicago was 4th in the 3A state championship last year.

Tickets are $5 per person. There is free parking located in the Cass Gymnasium lot. Concessions will be available.

The schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018

Game 1       6:00 pm     Curie vs Cardinal Ritter
Game 2       7:30 pm       Chicago Orr vs. East St. Louis

Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018

Game 3      6:00pm     Peoria Manual vs. Chicago Brooks
Game 4     7:30 pm    Lanphier vs. North Chicago

Friday Nov. 23, 2018

Game 5     12:00 pm Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 3
Game 6     1:30 pm         Loser Game 2 vs Loser Game 4
Game 7     6:00 pm         Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 3
Game 8     7:30 pm         Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 4

Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018

Game 9     11:00 am     Loser Game 5  vs Loser Game 6
Game 10    12:30 pm Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
(Consolation Championship)
Game 11    6:00 pm     Loser game 7 vs  Loser Game 8
(3rd Place Game)
Game 12     8:00 pm     Winner Game 7  vs. Winner Game 8
(Championship Game)

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Esports

IC Esports Falls to Maryland, 2-0

Staff Contributor

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The Illinois College esports team fell in Week 2 of the Upsurge Premier League to the University of Maryland, a team who reached the semifinals of Riot Games League of Legends Collegiate championship last season.

After an even contest in the first match that ended 18-13, Maryland had a dominant performance in the second match winning 25-10.

Illinois College falls to 0-2 in the Upsurge Premier League.

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