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Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, today I introduced the No Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act. This commonsense legislation will close the tax loophole that allows a tax-exemption on municipal bonds used to finance professional sports stadiums.
For more than a century, the federal government has supported state and local infrastructure projects by excluding the interest on municipal bonds from federal income taxes. Qualified projects eligible for a tax-exemption include roads, sewers and water systems, hospitals, schools, govenunental buildings, and other projects for the public good. However, a loophole in the tax code allows professional sports franchises to use public money to construct stadiums using taxexempt municipal bonds.
Since 2000, dozens of professional sports stadiums have been constructed or rehabilitated under financing provided by federal tax- exempt municipal bonds, costing taxpayers nearly $4 billion. While professional sports teams promise state and local governments that their stadiums will produce local economic development and job creation, there is no quantifiable evidence that they provide these benefits. Providing a federal subsidy for a professional sports stadium requires residents of a state without a professional team to subsidize a stadium in another part of the country, where they receive no benefit whatsoever. Public financing creates a race to the bottom where teams worth hundreds of millions, or billions, of dollars have all the leverage to exploit city budgets for their own gain.
By disallowing a federal tax-exemption, hundreds of millions of dollars a year will be returned to American taxpayers or can be put toward making our communities more safe, healthy, and economically secure. I thank my friends Senators Lankford and Booker in their support for this legislation in the Senate and I look forward to working with my colleagues to enact this critical legislation.
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