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Letters for Feb. 3, 2015

• NFL rant off-point, factually incorrect • Traffic fears shouldn’t stop Coco Palms

NFL rant off-point, factually incorrect

As well as James Rosen, many of us are fed up with pro sports exemptions and misused tax funding. Many actively seek redress for these inequities. However, Mr. Rosen’s off-point, fact-challenged letter (“The NFL, nonprofit, my buttocks,” Jan. 31) does not help that cause, as it is filled with patently false information.

First, he equates the NFL’s nonprofit status with “soup kitchens, charities and endowments.”

Not true. Those are Section 501(c)3 charities that receive tax-deductible donations.

The NFL is an industry association governed by 501(c)6. These associations are not charities, contrary to Mr. Rosen’s false equivalence. He states the NFL declared itself a nonprofit.

No, it didn’t. Congress declared the NFL’s nonprofit status with Public Law 89-800, passed 48 years ago.

Second, he claims the NFL “made $9 billion” in revenue.

No, it didn’t. That $9 billion is passed through to the league’s 32 teams – separate entities all — that make up the industry association.

The NFL’s revenue totaled $330 million for 2013 per its IRS Form 990, derived from dues assessments on those 32 teams — less than 4 percent of what Mr. Rosen claimed. The NFL “paid no taxes” on net income of $9 million as it had a large carry-forward loss from previous years.

Mr. Rosen should know that 31 teams pay taxes on their revenues, including their respective shares of the $9 billion.

(The exception, Green Bay, is a tax-exempt, community-owned nonprofit). He also should know that players pay their own income taxes on contracts negotiated with individual teams. That has nothing to do with the NFL itself.

Third, claiming the NFL sets exorbitant Super Bowl ticket prices is simply false.

SB tickets have a set face value between $500 to $1,500 for this year’s event. The secondary market (e.g., StubHub and other brokers) creates the exorbitant prices Mr. Rosen decries, not his “nonprofit entity” punching bag.

His tirade obscures the larger issue here. The most flagrant abuses of taxpayer monies occur through local politicians in cahoots with team owners.

There are stadium deals, construction bonds, “inducement payments” (e.g., the $6 million a year Louisiana pays to Saints owner Tom Benson), infrastructure support, and similar demands that negatively impact local taxpayers and communities to the tune of billions of dollars.

A little research here would have saved Mr. Rosen’s buttocks from being unnecessarily exposed.

Barry Christianson


Traffic fears shouldn’t stop Coco Palms

Why should the Coco Palms project be held hostage due to the highway traffic? Wasn’t this development in place prior to the traffic problems? Let’s go back to the 1990s when they were operating and the traffic issues did not exist.

It is the fault of the County of Kauai for approving all the subsequent developments without accounting for the Coco Palms traffic that would return. If we are to hold this project hostage, then all developments and building permits north of this spot should be denied until such time that they alleviate the traffic problems with the first approval going to Coco Palms.

The County of Kauai should even go further and revoke all approved projects north of this area that are older than five years and not actively being developed.

It is a shame that a councilwoman would testify at the planning meeting making a demand that she was unsuccessful at passing through the Kauai County Council.

Her testimony should be given no more weight than any other citizen as she was not representing the whole council at the planning meeting.

Let’s approve this project and give it a chance to succeed. Should they fail to be able to develop the project, the County of Kauai can then move forward to issue citations to have the public hazard removed within 90 days and failure would allow the County of Kauai to move forward and take possession and transfer the property to Hawaiian Homelands.

They then can clean up the property.

Bruce Newport



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