Last week at my other tax blog: Mileage rates hiked; Tax trouble for IRS staff
July 4th fireworks contribute to coffers

NFL lockout's tax cost to states

Summer is a great sports season, especially for folks who like to participate. But there are lots of offerings for us spectators, too.

U.S. soccer nuts have a full Major League Soccer schedule.

Every weekend brings gearheads a combination of motorsports, from NASCAR to Formula 1 to IndyCar to endurance races.

Rory McIlroy's dominating U.S. Open win has captivated old and new golf fans.

Internationally, tennis at Wimbledon just wrapped up and the bicyclists have just started the annual Tour de France.

And it's prime time for Major League Baseball, aka the celebrated Boys of Summer.

I follow my "O" teams, the Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros, even though this MLB season they've too often caused me to mutter "oh no."

But being a Texan, I'm getting worried about one of my life-long summer sports rituals: keeping tabs on the Dallas Cowboys' preparation for the upcoming National Football League season.

The NFL owners' lockout of players threatens to delay, if not completely wipe out, training camps set to open at the end of July. And while I and other NFL fans are upset, many state tax collectors are panicking.

The teams set up summer shops in cities outside their home bases, generating millions of dollars for those local economies.

The costs could be worse for the NFL teams' home cities and states if the 2011 professional football season never happens.

The Maryland Comptroller says that the Old Line State would lose an estimated $40 million if there's no NFL this year. And that potential tax hit is this week's By the Numbers figure.

40m nfl lockout cost to md

Maryland gets a tax boost each NFL season from both the Baltimore Ravens, who play in their namesake town, and the Washington Redskins, who play in Landover just outside of Washington, D.C.

"Our economy is still very fragile and while we've been meeting our recent revenue estimates, those estimates have been historically conservative," said Comptroller Peter Franchot, whose office broke out the numbers in the study Revenue Impact of Lost NFL Season.

"Unanticipated events, such as the lack of revenue from Ravens' and Redskins' games, would throw an unwanted speed bump on our road to economic recovery," said Franchot.

The estimated tax losses were based on potentially missing money from direct income taxes paid by NFL players, including jock taxes colllected on visiting team players, and other league employees who live in Maryland, as well as sales taxes from concession stands and revenue collected from the state's admissions and amusement tax that is part of what fans pay for each NFL ticket.

Maryland is the first state to conduct a study on the NFL lockout’s potential impact.

A St. Petersburg [Fla] Times story, however, reported that if there's no 2011 season, Hillsborough County where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play could lose as much as $1.2 million; the city of Tampa, about $600,000; and about 3,500 people would lose 10 days of work.

If the contact talks between NFL owners and players continue to drag on, look for a lot of other NFL cities and states to prepare spreadsheets detailing their own lost tax revenue projections.

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