House tax bill may remove deduction for college season ticket sa

House tax bill may remove deduction for college season ticket sales

Buying season tickets to big-time college football? You might not be able to write it off any more. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman) Buying season tickets to big-time college football? You might not be able to write it off any more. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
Somewhere in this building the demise of college athletics as you know it is being plotted. Or not. (Source: CNN) Somewhere in this building the demise of college athletics as you know it is being plotted. Or not. (Source: CNN)

(RNN) - If you've been lining the coffers of major colleges and universities just so you have the chance to buy a desirable ticket, you may want to look closely at the new tax bill currently before Congress.

According to a report from ESPN's Darren Rovell, some university administrators are worried they may not get as much money as they would like, thanks to a little-explored provision in that bill.

Currently, major universities with large fan bases and high demand for season tickets - Rovell highlights Duke basketball and LSU football - force season ticket hopefuls to make a sizable donation just to have the rights to buy a ticket.

Eighty percent of the donation is currently tax deductible, but the proposed tax bill before Congress would change that.

That means that either the donations will dry up, the people making the donations will lose a bit of privilege or someone like Alabama football coach Nick Saban will make a few calls and the provision will mysteriously vanish.

Section 1306 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act currently before the House of Representatives deals with charitable contributions. Under the heading "Denial of Deduction for College Athletic Event Seating Rights," the bill says "no deduction shall be allowed under this section for any amount."

You can read the bill here. It is also embedded below. The relevant portion is on page 112.

"We need to put speed bumps up now to slow this thing down. This would significantly compromise the opportunities for young people in those sports across the entire student athletics system," said Duke athletic director Kevin White to ESPN.

LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said if even 10 percent of people stop donating, that would amount to a large amount of money. 

"That's at least $5 million to us. We have no other place to make that money up," Alleva said.

Despite the language of the bill, Congress is certain the bill's provision won't do what the athletic directors fear it will do.

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-TX, told Rovell that "no deduction shall be allowed for any amount" under the heading "Denial of Deduction for College Athletic Event Seating Rights" was not what he intended.

"I don't believe the deduction was ever intended to apply to donations related to season tickets," Brady said.

Brady said that if the tax break he thinks won't go away actually does go away, individual states could decide to enact it themselves.

Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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