Considering nearly 112 million people tuned in to watch an old white guy beat a young black guy (the reverse of the 2008 election) in Superbowl 50, it’s safe to assume Americans love their football. Football is fun and exciting (even if this Superbowl wasn’t) so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, forcing taxpayers to subsidize the state-of-the-art stadiums in which these teams play is a dirty little secret that nobody seems to want to talk about.
For years now, major sports team owners have benefited tremendously from taxpayers subsidizing their multi-million dollar sports playgrounds. Consequently, cities have been forced to cut vital programs and services to accommodate this flagrant corporate welfare. This isn’t to say that these team owners don’t devote money towards community programs and social projects, but that doesn’t account for this gross allocation of taxpayer funds. And many studies suggest it isn’t even worth it.
Well, President Obama is about to single-handedly derail this gravy train.
President Obama’s new budget proposes repealing a federal tax exemption that leaves taxpayers footing the bill for new sports stadiums. According to the Treasury Department, the repeal could reduce costs for local taxpayers.
The current use of tax-exempt governmental bonds to finance sports facilities has shifted more of the costs and risks from the private owners to local residents and taxpayers in general.
In theory, cities and states could still use taxpayer funds and access non-exempt bonds to pay for new facilities. However, President Obama’s proposal would be a huge symbolic victory for those who vigorously oppose the use of public tax money to build stadiums. Stadiums that only make old rich white guys even richer. Of course, baracknophobic Republicans opposed this budget proposal in Obama’s 2016 budget and will surely continue to whine if it gets through.
Featured image via Wikipedia