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August 07, 2020 | Press Releases

Steube Introduces Legislation to Close Loophole Allowing Professional Sports Organizations to Claim Nonprofit Status and Tax Breaks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Greg Steube (R-Fla.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) today introduced the Properly Reducing Overexemptions for Sports Act.

“Professional sports organizations are simply not nonprofits and they should not be receiving the same tax breaks and treatment, especially when many of them are bringing in tens of millions of dollars in profits each year,” Steube said. “Closing this loophole is common sense and will save taxpayers millions of dollars over time.”

This bill prohibits any organization from being tax-exempt if it is a professional sports league, organization, or association, a substantial activity meant to foster national or international professional sports competitions and has annual gross receipts in excess of $10 million.

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced identical legislation in the U.S. Senate on April 10, 2019.

The legislation is expected to save American taxpayers roughly $100 million over the course of a decade. Professional sports organizations have received the 501(c)(6) status and exemptions since 1966.

Traditionally, nonprofit organizations are prohibited from engaging in political speech or endorsing political organizations. Recently, professional sports players and coaches have been kneeling during the national anthem as a form of political protest. Aside from the obvious revenue issues, if professional sports teams want to engage in political speech using their sport as a platform, they should be prohibited from the tax-exempt status as a nonprofit.