Ohio’s Taxman Is Tailgating NASCAR
During Prohibition, souped-up cars that could outrun the cops made for successful bootlegging. Today the corporation that runs America’s most successful stock car racing series, NASCAR, is likewise trying to get out in front of some meddlesome agents of the state.
Jeff McClain, Ohio’s tax commissioner, claims NASCAR owes the state more than $549,000 in unpaid taxes merely because Ohioans watched NASCAR races on television. McClain says that money is due under Ohio’s commercial activity tax (CAT), a 0.64 percent levy on the gross receipts of any business that earns at least $1 million in the state. The Ohio Department of Revenue collects about $2 billion annually from the CAT, which it says companies must pay “for the privilege of doing business in Ohio.”
Last year, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals, a quasi-judicial entity, sided with McClain. NASCAR, which is based in Florida, appealed that decision to the Ohi
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