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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.

Esports

IC Esports Falls to Maryland, 2-0

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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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HS Football

Springfield High upsets SHG 49-41. Watch the Full Game

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Springfield High upsets SHG 49-41 – Watch the Full Game on SpringfieldDaily.com

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Esports

IC Falls in Upsurge Premier League Opener

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PRESS RELEASE | The Illinois College esports team lost to Skizm Esports, 2-0, on Tuesday night. To start off the competition for the school year, IC is playing in the Upsurge Premier League. Upsurge had over 65 teams apply to be in the premier league, with the top 24 teams being chosen.  Illinois College was one of those 24 teams.

The first matchup came against Skizm Esports, an amateur organization founded in 2016. Its roster is compiled of three players currently in masters in the League of Legends ladder (top 600 players in North America), as well as one player in Diamond 2 and one player in Diamond 3.

The first game ended in 33 minutes with a final kill score of 25-14 in favor of Skizm. Game 2 ended in 30 minutes with a final kill score of 15-7 in favor of Skizm.

Illinois College falls to 0-1 in the Upsurge Premier League. Play resumes against the University of Maryland on Oct. 2.

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