Recent Tax Proposal Could Negatively Impact Schools' Revenues Tied To Season Tickets
LSU officials said that potentially as much as $50M for the school's athletic programs "could be lost if Congress eliminates a little-known tax deduction that helps bring in millions," according to Crisp & Dellenger of the Baton Rouge ADVOCATE. Currently, many fans are "required to donate hundreds or thousands of dollars to the university for the ability to purchase tickets to LSU games." But the donation "comes with a benefit." If they "submit itemized income tax filings," they can claim up to 80% of the donation as a deduction "because it's considered a charitable contribution." LSU officials said that the school brings in up to $50M each year "through the ticket-linked donations." It is "impossible to know how many might scale back their giving if the deduction is eliminated," but school officials "fear the worst." LSU Senior Associate AD/External Affairs Robert Munson said, "Frankly, even a small percentage of them, would represent a multi-million dollar hit to our organization." He said losing even 20% of the donations -- $10-12M a year -- is "not something we can absorb. Not anywhere close." Crisp & Dellinger noted the process is "similar at schools with major athletic programs across the country." LSU AD Joe Alleva said, "It could be disastrous -- for not just us, but every athletic department in the country" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 11/12). Meanwhile, Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt said, "Yes, the House bill as currently drafted could have a negative affect on (personal seat license) sales." Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione: "It has potential to be devastating but hard to know how many donors will react. Safe to say there will be some" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 11/11).