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Tax exemption for pro sports leagues targeted in new federal legislation




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 

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Illinois News Network, publisher of, 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 Springfield Daily was granted republishing permission by INN.

High School

Pretzels take 3rd at Shelbyville Tournament

Staff Contributor



This weekend the New Berlin volleyball team took 3rd place in the Shelbyville Tournament. The team had a record of 3-2; defeating Casey-Westfield 25-21, 25-18, Shelbyville 25-23, 25-13 and Pana 25-15, 25-18. They lost to Paris 25-20, 22-25, 12-15 and Charleston 25-22, 21-25, 11-15.

Senior Malena Bixby was named to the All-Tournament Team.

The Pretzels are now 8-2 on the season.

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IC Esports Keeps Rolling with Win over Missouri Valley

Staff Contributor



The Illinois College esports team improved to 4-1 in the Riot League of Legends Tournament after a 2-0 victory over Missouri Valley College on Saturday.

Game 1 started off slow for IC as Missouri Valley was able to pick up  an early gold lead, but that didn’t last for very long. Once laning phase ended, IC was able to pick up two favorable team fights, one of which ended in a clean 5-for-0 ace and baron. After baron was taken, IC was able to push to take structures in their base and end the game.

Game 1 ended in 26:44 with a final kill score of 15-7 in favor of IC. Stat leaders of game 1 go to Dalton “Prankuru” Swaino with a KDA of 8/0/7 and 37% of the team’s damage, followed by Adam “IC Chill” Lee with a KDA of 2/4/8 and 30% of the team’s damage.

Game 2 was much closer and went back and forth for most of the game. Missouri Valley focused heavily on shutting down the top half of the map, which enabled IC’s bottom lane to win 2v2 matchups and let the jungler free farm on the champion Karthus, which made teamfighting very easy once laning phase ended.

Game 2 ended at 35:58 with a final kill score of 21-15 in favor of IC. Stat leaders for game 2 go to Tony “King Me” Bautista-Foti with a KDA of 9/2/6 and 28% of the team’s damage, followed by Dylan “IC Storm” Cawthon with a KDA of 3/5/10 and 24% of the team’s damage.

This result improves IC’s record to 4-1 in Riot’s College League of Legends tournament. With one more win, IC will clinch a playoff berth in the North Conference. The next match is scheduled for March 2 at 3 p.m. with the opponent to still be decided.

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Cincinnati Prevails over IC Esports in Clash of Unbeatens

Thomas Clatterbuck



Week 3 of Collegiate League of Legends was played against the University of Cincinnati on Friday night, with both teams coming into the week with a record of 2-0.

Game 1 was a very slow-paced game in the early game, with Illinois College playing towards the top side of the map and Cincinnati playing towards their bot side of the map. This showed by substantial farm leads in those lanes for the respective teams. The first major clash came at the 18 minute mark, where Cincinnati took a map bonus and four kills.

IC was able to stay in the game by stealing another map bonus at the 27 minute mark, but the Cincinnati long-game strategy paid off, and IC was constantly on the back foot. Game 1 ended at 37 minutes with a final score of 19-5 in favor of Cincinnati. Stat leaders for IC were Dalton “Prankuru” Swaino with a KDA of 3/3/0 and 34% of the team’s damage, followed by Adam “IC Chill” Lee with a KDA of 0/3/2 and 29% of the team’s damage.

Game 2’s early game was very similar to game 1 as IC’s top lane and Cincinnati’s bot lane both received jungle attention and this showed with substantial farm leads for both teams. There was not much action for the majority of the game, but Cincinnati was able to keep control with a strong bot lane and great macro decisions by taking dragons on spawn.

Cincinnati was able to take baron at 22 minutes and push to end shortly after. Game 2 ended at 25:30 with a final kill score of 11-4 in favor of Cincinnati. Stat leaders for IC were Dalton “Prankuru” Swaino with a KDA of 2/1/0 and 38% of the team’s damage followed by Adam “IC Chill” Lee with a KDA of 2/3/0 and 25% of the team’s damage.

This result pushes IC to 2-1 in Riot’s College League of Legends tournament.  The next match is scheduled for February 16th at 3 p.m. with the opponent to still be determined.

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