SBD/Issue 181/Sports & Society

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  • Tennessee Senate To Consider "Jock" Tax On Visiting NHL, NBA Teams

    Athletes Who Play Predators, Grizzlies May 
    Soon Have To Pay A $2,500 "Jock Tax"
    Under a proposal that may be taken up today in the Tennessee state Senate, every athlete "who plays the Predators in Nashville would get slapped with a $2,500 'jock tax' for the privilege," according to a front-page piece by Echegaray & Glennon of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. The Predators' active roster "would pay, too, but with a three-game cap of $7,500 a season." Predators C Jason Arnott: "They're doing the same thing when we go into other states. So I guess why not pick up on that and make some money for Tennessee?" Besides the NHL, the tax "would apply to those on game-night rosters" for the Grizzlies and visiting NBA teams, but NBA coaches and support employees "wouldn't pay." The NFL "made an advance agreement to exempt the Titans and their home-game opponents," and minor-league teams also are exempt. The tax, known as a privilege tax, "would be in effect for the fall sports seasons," and proponents of the plan have said that the state "could collect $1.1[M] annually." But critics said that the tax "takes from visiting athletes without giving them the benefit of government services." DC-based Tax Foundation Dir of Policy Bill Ahern said that "at least Tennessee's tax won't affect the lowest-paid people in the sports franchises." Ahern noted other states "tax every employee, scouts, the equipment managers, everyone who travels with the team and down to the towel guys" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 6/9).

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