Senators Ernst and King Seek to Withdraw Tax-Exempt Status from Professional Sports Leagues

PRO Sports Act would give $100 million back to taxpayers

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced bipartisan legislation, the Properly Reducing Overexemptions for Sports (PRO Sports) Act, to strip multi-million dollar professional sports leagues of their tax-exempt status, saving roughly $100 million in taxpayer dollars over 10 years.

“Professional sports leagues – which are raking in millions of dollars from television rights and membership dues – shouldn’t also be scoring a hole-in-one with their taxes,” said Senator Ernst. “The PRO Sports Act amends the tax code to revoke this unnecessary exemption, saving approximately $100 million in taxpayer dollars over 10 years. Senator King and I are cutting this wasteful spending and protecting taxpayer dollars.”

The PRO Sports Act would revoke the 501(c)(6), tax-exempt status of professional sports leagues with over $10 million in gross receipts. While some leagues have voluntarily ended their tax-exempt status in recent years, others continue to use this loophole while bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

“Sports leagues like the NHL and the PGA Tour provide entertainment for millions of Americans, but that doesn’t mean these league-specific brands should be able to utilize Section 501(c)(6) of the tax code to be tax exempt,” said Senator King. “This bill would help close loopholes that allow leagues to boost their profits at the expense of taxpayers – it’s just common sense.”

Read the full text of the bill here.