- Associated Press - Friday, April 22, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Nathan Deal says a measure to keep football fans from paying state sales tax on Super Bowl tickets will help make Georgia more competitive nationally.

Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed have been among the proposal’s biggest supporters as the city bids for either the 2019 or 2020 game.

The league named Atlanta among four finalists for either game, along with New Orleans and the Florida cities of Tampa and Miami. The state is expected to forgo $10 million in sales taxes on game tickets. The law gives the same exemption on tickets to other sporting events expected to generate at least $50 million in other revenue.

“I’m confident that the economic impact of this legislation will pay dividends and further cement our reputation as a top state in the nation in which to live, raise a family and do business,” Deal said in a statement following the bill’s passage. Deal signed the measure into law Thursday.

Dan Corso, executive director of the Atlanta Sports Council, said this will also play a huge role for the city when bidding for other sporting events. The Atlanta Sports Council is affiliated with the Metro Atlanta Chamber and works with civic partners for potential Super Bowl bids and on those for most major sporting events.

“This legislation provides a level playing field when competing against other cities for major sporting events like the Super Bowl, which could mean an estimated $400 million impact to the state of Georgia - impact that translates to jobs for Georgians and revenue for local businesses,” Corso said in a statement.

The league named Atlanta among four finalists for either game, facing Miami or Tampa in Florida and New Orleans. The state is expected to forgo $10 million in sales taxes on game tickets. The law gives the same exemption on tickets to other sporting events expected to generate at least $50 million in other revenue.

William Pate, president and CEO of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, applauded the Legislature for supporting Atlanta’s bid to host a Super Bowl by allowing for the state tax exemption on ticket sales.

The NFL has said the exemption is required, but opposing legislators criticized the change as a giveaway to the league.

Rep. Brad Raffensperger, a Republican from Johns Creek, voted against the measure in the House, because he views it as a tax subsidy for a luxury event.

“Everyone else pays sales tax on whatever they purchase and to single out a major sporting event … in effect feels like we are picking winners and losers,” Raffensburger said.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide