WASHINGTON (AP) — A California lawmaker introduced legislation Thursday designed to prevent sports owners from turning league fines into a business expense that can generate a tax break.
The legislation from Democratic Rep. Tony Cardenas follows the National Basketball Association's $2.5 million fine and lifetime ban of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
An aide to the congressman said they were unaware of any specific team owners who have used their fines to generate a business-related tax deduction, but Cardenas wants to remove that possibility entirely. Cardenas said fines are meant to be a punishment, not a business expense.
"Subsidizing bad behavior should not be the responsibility of American taxpayers," Cardenas said in a news release announcing the bill, which he is calling the "Stop Penalizing Taxpayers for Sports Owners Fouls Act."
The legislation would address any fines imposed after Dec. 31, 2013.