NFL opposes Republican tax plan's stadium funding position

NFL opposes Republican tax plan's stadium funding position
Posted at 4:14 PM, Nov 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-07 19:15:03-05

(KGTV) - The National Football League said Tuesday it does not support a GOP-backed tax bill that could force teams to put up more of their own funds for any stadium construction, according to Reuters.

The bill, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last week, would prevent local governments from funding the building or renovating of professional sports stadiums with tax-exempt, public-purpose bonds - commonly used to fund projects related to schools, libraries, and public transit.

RELATED: GOP leaders unveil key details in new tax plan

According to NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart, the league believes the economic development from stadiums should make those projects eligible for tax breaks.

"You can look around the country and see the economic development that’s generated from some of these stadiums," Lockhart said according to Reuters. "These sorts of infrastructure projects have a long history and the benefits of them are obvious in many of our communities around the country, so we will continue to make our opposition known on that."

However, Lockhart told Reuters the league's stance will depend on the final draft of the bill.

San Diegans are far too familiar with the dynamics between league and city officials on the topic of stadium funding.

Locals voted down a measure in 2016 that would increase the city's hotel occupancy tax an additional 6 percent to fund the construction of a city-owned stadium downtown for the now-Los Angeles Chargers. That measure was just the latest in a 15-year back-and-forth between the team and county officials in efforts for a new stadium before the team made the move to Los Angeles.

RELATED: A history of the 15-year effort by the Chargers to get a new stadium in San Diego

In an Oct. 10 tweet, President Donald Trump questioned why the NFL received tax breaks, just the latest in the president's criticism following player protests during the National Anthem.

"Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!" President Trump wrote on Twitter.

However, Lockhart told reporters following that tweet that the NFL had given up its tax exemption in 2015 because it was a distraction, CNN reported. Former President Barack Obama also favored ending the tax breaks for stadiums in 2015, according to Reuters.