SBD/Issue 150/Sports Media

ESPN Could Lose Millions If State Tax Exemptions Are Repealed

ESPN "could lose millions of dollars each year" if Connecticut tax exemptions are "repealed and the state imposes a tax surcharge on corporations and limits tax credits," according to Amanda Falcone of the Meriden RECORD-JOURNAL. ESPN's "greatest worry is that Connecticut could decide to repeal tax exemptions on broadcast equipment." ESPN VP/Communications Mike Soltys said that the company "needs to keep its equipment current and taxing the equipment will make that more difficult." Soltys also said that the company is "worried about the future of other tax exemptions, including the exemption on media payroll services and the exemption on non-cable services." Soltys indicated that the company "would lose millions of dollars if some of the proposals are enacted, [but] he would not compare what ESPN would lose" to Disney's overall budget. Soltys said that he is "confident that ESPN would not abandon its birthplace in Bristol," but he added that the "budget decisions state lawmakers make this legislative session could affect the company's future." Soltys: "We would prefer to grow in Central Connecticut." But Soltys added that if lawmakers "make it harder to do business in Connecticut," ESPN "might choose to explore other options." ESPN "owns property and has studios and offices in several states" (Meriden RECORD-JOURNAL, 4/19).

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