Industry reacts to passage of House tax bill

Jon Howard
November 19, 2017

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who has voted with Democrats against repealing Obamacare, is reportedly having a more hard time coming to a "yes" vote on the Senate Republicans' tax reform plan since McConnell announced Tuesday that a repeal of Obamacare's individual health insurance mandate would be added to the Senate version of the tax bill.

The prevailing thought is that a significant number of people will stop making the donations. Rovell provides a couple examples of this arrangement in action: LSU, for example, only makes 50-yard-line season tickets available to people who've donated a certain amount to something called the Tradition Fund-this year, the amount was reportedly $1,025 per ticket; at Duke, the minimum donation for season tickets at Cameron Indoor Stadium is $4,000 per seat, for seats that already run a few thousand bucks. Within the budgeting process, we have to show within a 10-year window how we're going to ensure that we can pass these and still meet our commitments on other programs, and that's where the decision was made to put an end date.

"While we certainly do not know the exact repercussions, we expect that it would have a damaging effect", said Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne. This is big business for college athletics!

The effect on not being able to deduct the donation might be more severe with the higher donations.

Duke's White says that losing season-ticket donations could immediately affect scholarships in Olympic sports. It includes many changes to public and private education deductions.

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"I don't believe the deduction was ever meant to apply to donations related to season tickets", the bill's author, Representative Kevin Brady (R-Texas), told ESPN.

Congressman John Shimkus voted with the majority when the U.S. House passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Thursday. Since deductions technically cost the taxpayer at large, Brady reasons that the average fan is actually disadvantaged by the deduction at the hands of the wealthy, who deduct the price of their large donation for the right to sit in the best seats. The Senate has its own bill, which does not have a similar provision.

Colleges could, in theory, just add the required donation amount to the price of a season ticket, but the benefit of doing it the current way is that the portion considered a donation is, of course, tax deductible.

"The Senate must act decisively to avoid the deficiencies in the House legislation and craft a final bill that affirms life, cares for the poor and ensures national tax policy aimed at the common good", the bishop said.

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