A bill that could bring the Super Bowl and other high-profile sporting events to Atlanta was filed in the House this afternoon. House Bill 951, sponsored by Rep. Chad Nimmer of Blackshear, Jay Powell of Camila, Stacey Abrams of Atlanta and others would exempt tickets to certain sporting events from sales tax.
The bill defines “Major Sporting Event” as a National Football League Championship Game, a semifinal or final game of a national collegiate tournament, All Star games in baseball, soccer or basketball, and any other sporting event that the commissioner of economic development and state revenue commissioner say would generate $50 million in revenue to the host city from lodging, meals, car rentals, and similar activities. If passed, the exemption would apply to admissions purchased after January 1, 2017.
Some have complained that the measure is a taxpayer giveaway. But if the only way you are going to get the sporting event is to forego sales tax revenue on tickets that you wouldn’t get if the event didn’t occur, is it a giveaway or a way to recoup some of the investment in sports facilities?