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NHLPA, two players sue city of Pittsburgh over 'jock tax'

8 novembre 2019
The NHL Players Association, as well as players Scott Wilson and Kyle Palmieri, have launched a lawsuit against the City of Pittsburgh over a 'jock tax.' If you're uncertain what that is, you're likely not alone, so we'll do our best to explain it. A jock tax is an income tax levied against visitors to a city or state who earn money in that jurisdiction, mainly professional athletes. In this case, Pittsburgh charges a three percent tax on any income visiting athletes earn in the city while visiting their sports team's for games.

According to papers filed in court this week, The NHLPA, Wilson and Palmieri argue that "this system of taxation cannot be reconciled with the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which requires that all taxation be uniform." It adds that "as a matter of state constitutional law, Pittsburgh cannot tax non-residents at a higher rate than residents. Nor can the City single out a class of employees, like professional athletes, for a higher rate of taxation." The court documents put forward the position that "Pittsburgh's tax on non-resident athletes also violates the US constitution by affording its residents preferential tax treatment while imposing higher tax rates on those who reside out of state."

This "jock tax" seems very strange, yet it's not really uncommon. Not only are the working schedules of high-profile athletes public, so are their salaries in many cases. The tax dates back to the 1960s, but started being imposed aggresively in 1991 when California taxed the earnings of Chicago Bulls players who traveled to Los Angeles to play the Lakers in that year's NBA Finals.

In 2003, the Tax Foundation, an organization based in Washington, D.C. that collects data and publishes studies on tax policies, called the jock tax poorly targeted, arbitrarily enforced, and unrealistically burdensome to athletes. An analyst for the foundation pointed out in 2014 that because taxes are imposed on everyone who travels with a professional sports team, many individuals subject to the tax are not the stereotypical highly-paid athletes. It can include trainers, scouts and others earning much less.

Palmieri currently plays for the New Jersey Devils, and has been playing in the NHL regularly since the 2009-10 season. Wilson is currently under contract with the Buffalo Sabres, but plays with the Rochester Americans. Ironically, Wilson spent parts of seven seasons playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins, or their AHL affiliate the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, who are also based in Pennsylvania. There is no word on how much money each plaintiff is seeking in the suit.

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TOP 20 G A PTS
PATRIC HORNQVIST
3 1 4
SIDNEY CROSBY
1 1 2
ANDREW AGOZZINO
- 2 2
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1 - 1
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1 - 1
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COMPLETE LIST  
NHL LEADERS
POINTS GP PTS
LEON DRAISAITL
58 92
DAVID PASTRNAK
59 82
CONNOR MCDAVID
55 81
NATHAN MACKINNON
57 80
ARTEMI PANARIN
56 77
BRAD MARCHAND
59 74
JACK EICHEL
57 73
NIKITA KUCHEROV
57 72
PATRICK KANE
58 72
AUSTON MATTHEWS
59 71
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GOALS GP G
DAVID PASTRNAK
59 42
AUSTON MATTHEWS
59 42
ALEXANDER OVECHKIN
57 40
LEON DRAISAITL
58 33
JACK EICHEL
57 32
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ASSISTS GP A
LEON DRAISAITL
58 59
JOHN CARLSON
58 54
CONNOR MCDAVID
55 51
BRAD MARCHAND
59 51
JONATHAN HUBERDEAU
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JOHN CARLSON
58 69
ROMAN JOSI
57 57
VICTOR HEDMAN
57 49
ALEX PIETRANGELO
58 46
QUINN HUGHES
57 44
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QUINN HUGHES
57 44
CALE MAKAR
49 42
NICK SUZUKI
61 38
VICTOR OLOFSSON
43 37
DOMINIK KUBALIK
56 35
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ANDREI VASILEVSKIY
44 32
JORDAN BINNINGTON
41 24
FREDERIK ANDERSEN
43 24
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK
48 24
CAREY PRICE
50 24
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
SHUTOUTS GP SO
ELVIS MERZLIKINS
27 5
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY
42 4
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK
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JAMES REIMER
23 3
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