Guess What, Taxpayers Will Pay For Steve Ballmer’s Basketball Team

Steve Ballmer wasn’t so crazy to pay $2 billion for a basketball team.  It turns out taxpayers will pay at least half of the purchase cost.

“Steve Ballmer stands to gain as much as $1bn in tax benefits as a result of his $2bn purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, helping to explain why the Microsoft billionaire paid a record price for the club. … An FT analysis of US tax laws shows that Mr Ballmer could claim about half of the purchase price … under a little-known feature of the tax code covering so-called active owners of sports franchises.”…..:topnews:3

Given soaring media revenues fr0m cable networks competing for professional sports content to attract subscribers, it’s even conceivable that the tax provision allowing team owners to write off “goodwill” could produce enough tax offsets against Ballmer’s other income to pay the entire purchase price. In which case, Ballmer will have acquired the team and all its revenue streams for free, gifted to him by all the Joes and Janes across the country paying a 15% or 25% tax rates on their working-class wages.Roger Rabbit icon

I guess you could call this “trickle-up economics,” except it looks more like a torrent than a trickle.

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