Sunday, May 3, 2015

Ohio High Court Strikes Down Cleveland’s ‘Jock Tax’

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Ohio's highest court on Thursday struck down Cleveland's so-called "jock tax," ruling that the city was excessively taxing visiting professional athletes using an illegal method to calculate their bills.

Retired NFL football players Hunter Hillenmeyer and Jeff Saturday have spent years battling Cleveland in court over claims that the city was subjecting athletes playing for visiting teams to disproportionately high municipal income taxes.

The city's unusual tax rule calculates a professional athlete's taxable income based on how many games an athlete plays in Cleveland. Other cities use a method based on how much time players spend in the city.

Mr. Hillenmeyer, a former Chicago Bears linebacker who retired in 2010, played one game a year in Cleveland — over a 20-game season — between 2004 and 2006. Cleveland applied its income tax to 5% (1/20) of his earnings.

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