We’ve been doing it for years:
And while everyone’s fretting over the bailout package for the auto industry, most taxpayers would be shocked to learn that they’re also footing the bill for some of these highly profitable bowl games. From 2001 to 2005, seven tax-exempt bowls received $21.6 million in government aid. The Sugar Bowl, which in one four-year period got $4.1 million in funding from the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, pays a consultant more than $10,000 a year to “monitor legislative developments . . . related to the continued financial support of the Sugar Bowl.” From 2001 to 2005, 38% of the Brut Sun Bowl’s total revenue, or about $9 million, came from receipts from a Texas rental-car tax that are diverted into the bowl’s bank account.
To ensure the bowl games maintain their tax-exempt status, the committees hire state and federal lobbyists. Watts Partners, the Washington, D.C., lobbying firm run by former University of Oklahoma quarterback and Rep. J.C. Watts, has been paid more than $500,000 in consulting fees by the BCS.
By law, tax-exempt groups must renew their status every few years. It makes for some good reading. In 2005, the Orange Bowl told the IRS that it “conducts the Fed-Ex Orange Bowl so that residents and visitors of the community become interested in the climatic, recreational, commercial, agricultural, social, educational and economic interests of the area.”
Were I to become President I would virtually eliminate the idea of non-profit enterprises. I have worked for them, and they are not a far cry from what the Orange Bowl is doing.