Before Trump Took Aim at Stadium Subsidies, So Did Obama; Flag Protest Puts $3.7b at Risk

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump ramped up pressure Tuesday on NFL team owners to keep their players in line -- and standing for the national anthem -- by threatening to eliminate "massive tax breaks."Supporters cheering the latest salvo in the culture war may be surprised to learn that he's not the first president to aim at such tax breaks, which have shifted at least $3.2 billion from federal taxpayers to pro sports teams from 2000 to 2014, according to a Brookings Institution study last year.President Barack Obama also pushed to close the loophole that allows the use of tax-free municipal bonds for football and baseball stadiums, and basketball and hockey arenas, in Texas and across the nation.And a handful of lawmakers have been trying, for years.The Dallas Cowboys' $1.2 billion stadium, which opened in 2009, was financed with roughly $325 billion in tax-exempt debt. That represents a hefty subsidy for Jerry Jones, whose stance on players standing for the anthem has made him Trump's favorite NFL owner lately.American Airlines Center, where the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars play, opened in 2001 with $152 million in financing involving bonds exempt from federal tax.  Continue reading...

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