New York Giants run afoul of the taxman

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 By

Artist's rendition of the 1976 New York Giants football team logo.

The New York Giants could win Super Bowl XLVI – but they could lose in court to the taxman. (Photo Credit: Public Domain/718 Bot/Wikipedia)

As the hype for Super Bowl XLVI reaches fever pitch, the tax man appears to have collection fever over a tax debt owed by the New York Giants. Bankrate reports that officials from East Rutherford, N.J., are after $1.5 million in property taxes that the Giants owe on their training facility in New Jersey.

Giants claim tax exemption

The New York Giants’ financial staff claim that the team is exempt from property tax payments due to a 1970s deal struck with the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority (NJSEA) to build the original Giants Stadium. As the Authority is a public, entity and it owned the football field at the Meadowlands, the Giants believed the project was tax exempt. Another part of the arrangement is that the NJSEA pays East Rutherford $6 million per year in place of the property tax for the complex.

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Mayor James Cassella disagrees

East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella wants more from New Jersey’s Meadowlands investment, however. He has argued that the New York Giants’ training center is privately developed and therefore should be eligible to be taxed.

The battle has understandably gone to court. Cassella also wants to tax the Meadowlands stadium itself. That structure is co-owned by the New York Giants and New York Jets football teams. The tax bill Cassella wants to see payment on could generate $12 million per year or more for East Rutherford.

East Rutherford needs the money

Reports indicate that Moody’s Investors Service recently downgraded East Rutherford’s credit rating. The ongoing tax battle between the city and the New York Giants is credited as being the primary reason for the ding. There is some doubt as to whether the township will be able to cover its $16 million in general obligation debts, according to Bankrate.

Root for the home team, but make them pay

While New York Giants football fans are no doubt ecstatic over the team’s chances in Super Bowl XLVI versus the New England Patriots, concerned citizens likely understand the importance of sufficient tax revenue. Those who worry about East Rutherford having enough funds to maintain basic services are wondering whether professional sports teams like the New York Giants should receive preferential treatment when it comes to taxation.

Sources

Bankrate

Bloomberg

New York Post

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