Ohio ‘Jock Tax’ Illegal

Ohio’s state court on April 30 struck down what’s known as Cleveland’s “jock tax,” ruling the method the city used to calculate municipal taxes on visiting athletes is illegal.

Photo: AP Photo/John Bazemore, File
The camera captures a sea of empty seats after the second half of an NFL game between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome Sept. 29. Fan attendance at NFL games is reportedly down while TV ratings remain strong. Also, the Falcons stink this season.

NFL players have fought the tax for years, according to the Wall Street Journal. One retired player, former Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday, claimed the city taxed him for a single game in 2008 – even though he sat it out with an injury and never set foot in Cleveland. Retired Chicago Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer says he was taxed 5 percent of his earnings on the basis of having played one game a year in Cleveland.

The city calculates a professional athlete’s taxable income based on how many games he or she plays in Cleveland. Other cities use a method based on how much time players spend in the city, according to the Journal. The two players will receive partial refunds worth thousands of dollars, plus interest, according to the paper.