Congressman Introduces Bill to Punish Sterling

Congressman Introduces Bill to Punish Sterling

Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) introduced legislation on Thursday that would “prevent  sports team owners from writing off fines as a business expense on their federal income tax returns.”

“The American people are happy to help small businesses grow, but paying fines for multimillionaires to subsidize bad behavior should not be the responsibility of American taxpayers,” Cardenas said. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, The Stop Penalizing Taxpayers for Sports Owners’ Fouls Act  would amend the Internal Revenue Code to “disallow a deduction for any fine paid by an owner of a professional sports franchise.” It would apply to fines imposed after Dec. 31, 2013.

The NBA fined Sterling $2.5 million and banned him for life on Tuesday. 

“Being fined for violating the rules of your league is not the same as a shop owner on Main Street paying to have a new sign hung in front of their business,” Cardenas said in the letter. “One is a business expense, the other is a punishment.” 

Experts from the Tax Policy Center believe chances of the legislation, which has no Republican sponsors, passing are “bleak.”