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Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos to Pay New Jersey Taxes Due to “Jock Tax”

January 27th, 2014 at 7:07 PM
By Donald Lappe

The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos are incurring some hidden expenses by playing in Super Bowl XLVIII, due to the "Jock Tax" instituted by the State of New Jersey. New Jersey is one of 22 states that has such a tax in place, collecting money from athletes that play games in the state. It's far from an uncommon practice as the vast majority of U.S. States that host professional teams have similar taxes in place.

'Super Bowl MetroCards' photo (c) 2014, Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos players will be hit with the "Jock Tax," a tax levied by the State of New Jersey on visiting players. Reid Wilson of The Washington Post reports players will fork over 8.97 percent of their earnings during their time in New Jersey over to the state (about a week's salary). That includes their winning or losing Super Bowl share – the winners collect $92,000 apiece while the losers will receive $46,000 per player.

The tax isn't limited to the players. Anyone who typically travels with the teams is also subject to New Jersey taxes for their week-long stay leading up to the Super Bowl. That includes coaches and trainers. Sportscasters can also be targeted by such taxes. Even injured players unable to participate in the game are hit with the "Jock Tax."

Ted Sherman of The Star-Ledger reports that New Jersey collects about $10 million from visiting athletes each year, on top of income tax collected from athletes that call the state their permanent home. That total is much less than the $100 million skimmed from visiting professional athletes by California each year.

This isn't a Super Bowl-centric issue as regular season games are subject to the tax as well. Players have to file tax returns for virtually every state they play in, unless they happen to play an away game in a state that doesn't levy a tax for out-of-state residents earning money in-state. However, with Super Bowl bonuses included this game will bring in more money to than a typical regular season context.

Tags: Denver Broncos, Football, Jock Tax, NFL, Seattle, Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl, Super Bowl XLVIII

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