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Your College Football Team Is Very Worried About GOP Tax Reform

  • Donations tied to tickets would no longer be tax-deductible
  • Change could chill giving by 20 to 30 percent, economist says
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Why College Football Teams Are Worried About Tax Reform

For more than 30 years, colleges and universities have leaned on an obscure tax rule that allows sports boosters to make tax-deductible contributions to their teams. Athletic fundraisers around the country say that’s an advantage that generates millions in annual revenue – and one that’s threatened by Republican tax legislation.

The issue revolves around donations that confer the right to buy top-tier football and basketball tickets. Modeled after seat licenses in pro sports, these “contributions” have historically been 80 percent tax deductible and have become one of the three main revenue streams in college sports. Ticket sales and money earned from media rights are the other two.