… a better question might be whether schools are prepared for this shot across the bow:
The House Ways and Means Committee, under the direction of chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), is circulating a draft of what could become a bill known as the Tax Reform Act of 2014. Under one provision, tax-exempt organizations – including, committee staffers say, nearly all public and private colleges and universities – would be subject to a 25% excise tax on compensation in excess of $1 million paid to any of its five highest-paid employees for any given tax year.
It’s not exactly chump change, either. The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the excise-tax provision would increase tax revenues by $4 billion from 2014 through 2023.
Do I think it’ll pass? Maybe not. Do I think it will stir the already roiled waters the NCAA is attempting to navigate? You tell me.
But the staffers are well aware of its potential impact on colleges and what they pay high-profile college coaches, who are among the nation’s top-paid and best-known public employees. And reflects growing skepticism about big-money college sports programs’ place at institutions that enjoy broad tax protections and whose donors gain tax benefits from their gifts.
“Large salaries at non-profit organizations beg the question: Are dollars really going to the core mission — whether that be charitable work, providing health care or educating students — or is that money serving another purpose?” committee communications director Sarah Swinehart said in an e-mail to USA TODAY Sports. “The draft is an opportunity to discuss whether or not the tax code should provide an incentive for multi-million dollar salaries at non-profits.”
When you start talking tax code, you start scaring the crap out of university administrators.
I hope somebody asks Emmert about tax code incentives at the Final Four presser.