Editorial: Burr’s student-athlete tax is misguided | Chroniclers

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North Carolina Senator Richard Burr has not always played it safe as a lawmaker.

He was one of the few Republicans in the Senate who had the courage to vote against former President Trump in his second impeachment trial earlier this year, though it certainly cost him goodwill along with his colleagues. (And the NC GOP censored Burr for his vote.)

He is now seizing another chance and inviting the wrath of many – Democrats and Republicans – as well as sports fans and those who poke fun at the sport – by introducing legislation last week that would require student-athletes to pay taxes on their scholarships if they earn more than $ 20,000 in external endorsements.

“The premise of this bill is simple,” Burr said. “If a student chooses to monetize their name, image, and likeness based on their connection to their school – in some cases earning them $ 1 million or more per year – their scholarship should be subject to federal tax. Income.”

We wonder, however, why he thinks exchanges should be taxed when their actual NIL earnings are already taxed. The next questions are inevitable: Should other exchanges be subject to tax? Should it all?

We also struggle to see a natural connection between taxation and collegial sporting integrity, but it may be there. Burr, who played the defensive back for Wake Forest football in the 1970s and was nominated for the Demon Deacons in 1974 and 1975, certainly has more field experience.

But even for the few student-athletes whose supports could lead to a hell of a win – some have signed five- or six-figure contracts, and some less have reached as much as $ 1 million a year – taxing their scholarships seems pointless to us. and unfair for several reasons.

Taxing them for standing up with their own Nike doesn’t seem… to be good sportsmanship.

It also appears that there are quite a few members of society who have been freed from the burden of taxes while steadily earning a little more than the most photogenic college football star – some of whom are good enough to hide their income, because we are starting to learn from the publication of the Pandora Papers.

Perhaps Burr should join his fellow Democrats in asking them to pay their fair share.

There’s also something about the way Burr puts it – “If a student chooses to monetize their name, image, and likeness based on their connection to their school” – it almost sounds punitive, as if he thinks that ‘he should just play his sport and go to class.

Prior to the NIL compensation changes, student-athletes were undoubtedly aggrieved, and most still are. Yes, their scholarships are valuable and successful college athletic careers can be turned into professional careers.

But college athletics generates billions in revenue. Even with compensation for NILs, the lion’s share of the financial benefits will go to their schools.

Earning the right to be compensated for their NIL, if not their job, was an accomplishment – but it’s still a little chintzy. Most of their offers are unlikely to be as lucrative. Do they really need to be taxed?

“Given the political makeup of his chamber and the US House, it is unlikely that this measure will go anywhere without substantial support from Democrats across the way,” Todd McFall, economist of the United States, told the Journal. sport at Wake Forest University. But Burr’s is not the only proposal to deal with NILs. Other proposals will attempt to codify and further limit the gains of student-athletes.

If this is the closing act of Burr’s congressional career – he’s not running for re-election – he could do better.

Today’s editorial is from the Winston-Salem Journal. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of this newspaper.


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