Sports Taxes

GOP Tax Writers and Lobbyists Saved the PGA Tour in the Final Hours

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The tax bill that Senate Republican voted to pass at almost 2 a.m. on Saturday morning could result in millions of people losing their health care and many millions more working people paying higher taxes, but there's something it won't do: it won't raise taxes on the Professional Golfers' Association Tour.

As of Friday evening, the Senate GOP bill included a provision that would have repealed the tax-exempt status of the association, but it was removed at some point between Friday night and the Saturday morning vote.

From GolfDigest:

The provision also threatened the tax status of the LPGA and the PGA of America, the latter because it runs golf tournaments such as the PGA Championship, the Women’s and Senior PGAs and the Ryder Cup.

But the provision went missing from the final version of the Senate bill. It is unclear who or what was responsible for the disappearance. In the chaotic final hours of negotiations—almost all behind closed doors—dozens of revisions, deletions and amendments were made to the bill, many of them highly significant. Altogether the bill shrunk from 515 pages to 479 pages. [...]

PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua said he did reach out to political contacts in Washington to advance golf’s perspective, but declined to comment on specifics.

Personally I don't have a strong opinion on whether or not the PGA tour should be taxed, but it certainly says a lot that party tax writers spent their final hours on carve-outs for special interests; interests that don't include working people or students.

This was hardly the only last-minute change made to the bill that favors special interests, and there will be many more now that lobbyists know they can insert provisions at the last minute because Republicans aren't even reading their own bills now.

As the GOP reconciles differences between and House and and Senate tax bills, an army of 6,000 lobbyists will be looking for every opportunity to insert something.

It should be noted that the PGA holds events at Trump properties.

  • ninjaf

    It should be noted that the PGA holds events at Trump properties.

    This is all one needs to know to understand what happened.

  • muselet

    What a relief! I was afraid the interests behind cow-pasture pool were going to be left out of the last-minute feeding frenzy.

    Luckily, The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body managed to prevent that from happening. And all it cost was several million people’s access to health insurance and increases to several more million people’s taxes. That’s a fair exchange, right?

    The Senate tax bill is yet another perfect example of R philosophy in action.