Are the Rams Overtaxed?
St. Louis, MO – Recently the Associated Press ran a story about the St. Louis Rams football team filing a tax appeal with the state of Missouri requesting a refund of $400,000 and have made 6 appeals over the last 5 years totaling $4.7 million in tax relief.
The St. Louis Post – Dispatch also reported that the Rams asked the state to forgive $445,000 in unpaid taxes, but the state has not given in to the Rams request.
Here are a few interesting facts about the Rams battle with the city and state over tax revenue from the Associated Press:
- The appeals began after a state audit in September 2008, when the Rams were told the team owed nearly $1.4 million in unpaid taxes on luxury club memberships. The Rams protested that assessment — the first of the six appeals.
- The Rams collect about 4 percent in state sales tax, 4.5 percent in city sales tax and an additional 5 percent for the city amusement tax, totaling about $13.50 on a $100 ticket.
- The team also sells something called a “club membership.” Club memberships add $1,000 to the ticket price, and members get food and beverage discounts, entry to draft previews, training camp practices and special events and other benefits.
- In the 2008 filing, the Rams argued club memberships are benefits, not tickets, and shouldn’t be subjected to sales taxes.
- In the other appeals, the team argued it is not subject to states sales tax at all. Then in 2011, the Rams said they discovered they were “erroneously” calculating sales taxes on a base ticket price inflated by the city taxes. That means the city was collecting about 40 cents too much on each $100 ticket.
- That led to appeals for reimbursement of $401,000 and $445,000 in the past two years.
So what do you think? Are the Rams paying too much in taxes or is the assessment fair? Do these tax burdens lead to higher ticket prices, parking, and food costs at the Edward Jones Dome?
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org