The Indiana Department of Revenue recently released a directive that details the breadth of the exclusion afforded the NFL for the Super Bowl. Among the taxes from which the NFL and its affiliates will receive an exemption include the following:
- sales and use taxes
- motor fuel taxes
- auto rental tax
- food and beverage tax
- innkeeper's tax
- county admissions tax
- adjusted gross income tax
- withholding taxes on salaries and wages
None of the NFL employees working at the Super Bowl will be subject to withholding taxes on their salary and wages, and none of their nights spent in Indianapolis hotel rooms will be subject to Indianapolis' high combined innkeeper's and sales tax of nearly 20%. Cars they rent for use in Indianapolis will be exempt from the auto rental tax, and any gas they purchase for those rented vehicles will be exempt from motor fuel taxes. In addition to the large staff deployed to Indianapolis to put on the event, the NFL presumably picks up the hotel tab for the competing teams' players (53-team roster), coaches and staff, exempting their hotel rooms from those taxes. The CIB will lose at least $2 million in admissions taxes that would otherwise be collected from ticket sales to the game. Any money the NFL spends on lavish entertainment during Super Bowl events will be exempt from the 9% combined sales, food and beverages taxes.
I'm guessing when the host committee boasts about the economic impact hosting the Super Bowl next year had on the city and state when it's all done and said, the tax expenditures laid out in preparation for and conducting the major event and the panoply of taxes from which the NFL was exempted from paying won't be factored into that equation. That's just a hunch. It's something to chew on, though, as you consider the fact that the NFL generates about $9 billion in revenues annually for its billionaire team owners and pays multi-million dollar annual salaries to many of its players.
Here's a post I published back in 2007 when the tax break was first being considered.