United States: Proposed legislation to enhance deductibility of sports franchises

It has been reported that pending legislation in the US Congress, H.R. 4520, the “American Jobs Creation Act of 2004,” would enhance deductibility of sports franchises. Sec. 685 of the proposed H.R. 4520 would let owners depreciate the entire value of sports franchises from their income taxes over a period of 15 years. This would include broadcasting contracts, player?s contracts and concessions. Today, only contracts of players can be written off, and only up to half a franchise’s value and only for the duration of those contracts, generally just a few years. The provision is also in the Senate version of the Bill, and thus the sports provision may eventually very well be included in the compromise version of the bills.