After more than a year of negotiation, compromise has been reached to end Tennessee’s special tax on professional athletes. The so-called “jock tax” is considered the highest in the nation and applies to both home and visiting players.
While the revenue is collected by the state, it goes directly to the Nashville Predators and the Memphis Grizzlies to subsidize operation of their respective arenas.
Under the agreement, hockey players would be free of the roughly $7,500-a-year privilege tax immediately. The NBA would be given another two seasons before the repeal takes place. Franklin Senator Jack Johnson says Grizzlies management put up more of a fight.
“You know, I’m sympathetic. But we just need to figure out a different way to get them that revenue, and I believe it needs to be done at the local level.”
The jock tax has been producing roughly a million dollars a year for the Memphis team.
The NFL was never part of the jock tax, which was created by the Tennessee legislature with almost no debate in 2009.