Rep. Garamendi Introduces Bill to Revoke Corporate Tax Exemption for PGA Tour Following Saudi Takeover
WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA08) has unveiled the “No Corporate Tax Exemption for Professional Sports Act” in response to the
WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA08) has unveiled the “No Corporate Tax Exemption for Professional Sports Act” in response to the recent surprise acquisition of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) Tour by the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund. This legislation aims to close the tax loophole exploited by the PGA Tour and other professional sports leagues, enabling them to evade federal corporate income tax.
Under the proposed bill, professional sports leagues, including the PGA Tour, would no longer enjoy the tax exemption that allows them to avoid paying federal corporate income tax, despite generating annual corporate income exceeding $100 million each. The Garamendi bill takes inspiration from the National Football League, which voluntarily relinquished its exemption from federal corporate income tax in 2015, recognizing that the exemption was originally intended for amateur sports.
Garamendi expressed concern over Saudi Arabia’s attempt to “sports wash” its government’s appalling human rights abuses and the 2018 murder of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi through the takeover of the PGA Tour. He criticized PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and the league’s leadership for what he perceived as blatant hypocrisy and a complete reversal of principles, allowing a sovereign wealth fund from a foreign government with a notorious human rights record to assume control of an iconic American sports league while evading federal corporate income tax. Garamendi highlighted the contrast with PGA Tour players who rejected lucrative offers from the Saudi-backed LIV, choosing to align themselves with values rooted in history, human decency, and social responsibility.
The Congressman emphasized the absurdity of the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund paying no taxes on their controversial profits, potentially reaching billions of dollars, while countless American families diligently pay their fair share, often struggling to make ends meet. He characterized his proposed legislation as a commonsense solution to rectify this inequity and bring much-needed accountability to the matter.
The “No Corporate Tax Exemption for Professional Sports Act” seeks to address the tax implications of the Saudi takeover and uphold principles of fairness and transparency within the sports industry. As the bill progresses, its impact on the PGA Tour and other professional sports leagues will be closely watched.