The common practice for major league athletes is to pay taxes in the states that they are visiting to compete. This means that if the Twins play nine games in Cleveland, the state of Ohio will be able to collect a tax on 5.6 percent of a player's earnings for that season.
"There are also places that collect city taxes,'' a former Twins player said. "You wind up with a tax return that looks like a manuscript for a book.''
The taxes paid in other states and cities are largely deductible when filing in the home state. Dealing as an individual with taxes from 10 or 15 states is more of annoyance that anything.
I'd settle for that when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell visits Minneapolis for Super Bowl week: an annoyance.
Wouldn't it be great if we could slap a Minnesota tax rate of 9.85 percent on 1/52nd of Goodell's estimated $40 million salary as he struts about as The Tsar in charge of the NFL's rip-off of us rubes out here on the prairie?
This suggestion was made by a Twitter acquaintance last week when Goodell's new contract was announced: Let's tax the commissioner in the manner we tax pro athletes when they come here to compete.
Roger will be making roughly $770,000 per week. He might pay taxes on one-third of that. And if we get about 10 percent of that one-third, fair taxation says The Tsar should send a check for $25,000 to Minnesota Revenue before he leaves town.
Unfortunately, this is only a dream, because the state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis (along with corporate fundraising of $50 million-plus) gave away the farm to the NFL with this clause:
"The NFL requires a sales tax exemption on game tickets and Super Bowl-related events and game day income tax exemptions on salaries of NFL players, officials and staff.''
That says "game day income tax exemptions on salaries.'' How about The Tsar's salary for the other six days he's here raking in the dough? Write out the check for $21,424, Roger, and we won't have to put Minnesota Revenue on your tail.
Read Patrick's blog at startribune.com/patrick. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.