Americans for Tax Reform praises House leadership for pulling bill that would have taxed any baseball player who might play a game in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON – Washington, DC is currently trying to attract a Major League baseball franchise to play in the nation\’s capital. There would seem to be many hurdles to overcome, including DC\’s high income tax – at nearly 10%, one of the highest in the nation. The truth is, high-income baseball players don\’t want to live in DC.
But a bill sponsored by DC\’s non-voting delegate to Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), would have driven the nail into the coffin on baseball in Washington – H.R. 1450 would have imposed DC\’s income tax on any baseball player, from any team, for ANY games played in the city.
"The House leadership averted disaster for Washington when they pulled this bill from the floor," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "The complexity of the proposal is bad enough – who wants to pay taxes in their home state, except for income earned at an away game in DC, and except for income earned at an away game in Minneapolis, ad infinitum? Will every player soon have to file 30 separate tax returns?"
But critics say the danger goes beyond baseball players. Norton\’s bill is part of a greater effort for states and localities to go after "easy" revenue by taxing high-income people when they cross state lines. It is not economically feasible to track every person who earns income in other states. But states are trying to single out doctors, entertainers, sports stars, CEO\’s, and others whose high income might make the trouble pay off.
"The danger is that complexity and invasion of privacy will explode as states begin to harass actors every time they cross state lines to film on location, or doctors every time they cross state lines to perform an organ transplant," continued Norquist. "This is an instance of high-tax states singling out a class of workers and subjecting them to discriminatory treatment because they think it will be an easy source of revenue."