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BASEBALL'S TAX PLAN TO FACE UNION SCRUTINY
Published November 16, 1994
When the baseball labor negotiations resume tomorrow in Washington, DC, striking players "expect the same old salary cap with a new name" (Mike Shalin, BOSTON HERALD, 11/16). Owners will likely propose a new plan that will include a "luxury tax" to be imposed when a team exceeds a certain payroll. But "anyone deliriously optimistic" about the new plan "hasn't been paying attention to the negotiations in the month and a half hockey lockout. The NHL has a taxing problem, and baseball is about to get one." The MLBPA is unlikely to accept the proposal, believing it would work as a salary cap and "inhibit" teams from "spending the kind of money on salaries that would trigger such taxes." Red Sox CEO John Harrington, who heads up the owners' negotiating team, said "a tax concept can look like a salary cap, and any tax plan is meant to put some controls on labor cost" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 11/16). MLBPA General Counsel Gene Orza "warned against optimism," saying there are "tax programs that are worse than a salary cap and tax programs that are better" (Tim Harper, TORONTO STAR, 11/16). Braves Player Rep Tom Glavine said a luxury tax "would be nothing to get excited about," adding "it would be another word for a salary cap" (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/16). LET'S GET IT DONE: "Owners are working with a renewed vigor, afraid that if they don't move quickly, they will lose next season as well." One owner, on the lack of income: "We gambled the fans would love us come hell or high water and it looks like we are losing that bet" (Sherman & Miner, N.Y. POST, 11/16). Braves President Stan Kasten said he plans to be in DC "for an extended time": "I did not even attempt to make a return reservation" (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/16). PAYROLL FIGURES RELEASED: Team payroll figures were released by MLB's Player Relations Committee. The total amount paid to players would have gone up less than 3% if a full season had been played. The Yankees had the highest payroll in the league at $47,512,342, but only paid out around $34M because of the strike. The Padres had the lowest league payroll, paying out only $9.8M on over $13M of salaries (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/16).