Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Revoke the National Football League’s nonprofit status, and force this multi-billion dollar enterprise to pay it fair share of taxes
Since 1966, the National Football League (NFL) has avoided paying taxes by defining itself as a nonprofit organization. In 2013, it was estimated that the NFL made almost $9 billion dollars in revenue and didn’t pay a cent in taxes. Top executives in the NFL make almost $29 million dollars a year, and are protected underneath an obscure clause in the Internal Revenue Code that states ‘professional football leagues’ deserve the same tax breaks as soup kitchens, charities and endowments for the arts — organizations that contribute and benefit humanity.
The NFL’s exemption also makes the multi-billion dollar industry able to negotiate deals for television rights, internet rights and mobile networking which could boost its revenue to an unimaginable $25 billion dollars — making it the most lucrative league in the entire world. If the clause continues, not a cent of that $25 billion will be considered taxable. To keep this going, the NFL has contributed nearly $14 million dollars in campaign contributions and lobbying efforts since the 90’s, though this is relatively insignificant considering the NFL’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, rakes in a nearly $50 million dollar salary.
It has been nearly 50 years since the National Football League has paid taxes, and as Congress votes to cut food stamps, unemployment benefits, and spending on important educational, renewable energy and agriculture programs, the ludicrousness of the NFL being considered a nonprofit organization needs to be brought to light.
By signing this petition you’ll tell congress and President Obama to rescind the NFL of its nonprofit status and urge the League to pay its fair share.
Dear President Obama,
It has recently come to my attention that the National Football League hasn’t paid a cent in taxes, due to a clause in the Internal Revenue Code that protects football leagues as nonprofits. The NFL is a multi-billion dollar organization that fits nowhere into the outlined categories of appropriate charities and nonprofit organizations. It makes no sense that NFL executives can make nearly $29 million dollars a year, when the president of a humane society, for example, doesn’t even make a fraction of that.
As budget cuts loom and Congress apathetically overlooks the significance of organizations that contribute to and benefit human and animal kind, it is time you stepped forward and addressed the unfortunate mistake of allowing an industry like the NFL to go on exempt from paying taxes. It hurts the already weeping pockets of working class Americans, who are forced to make up for the NFL’s share.
Please consider a reform of the clause and revoke the NFL of its ridiculous ‘nonprofit’ status.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: dbking via everystockphoto