NFL Wire News

Cleveland jock tax ruled unconstitutional


The Sports Xchange

The city of Cleveland cannot tax visiting professional athletes for their work during visits, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday in Columbus.

The court said the tax is unconstitutional because it violates to due process rights of athletes.

The court ruled that the city erred in imposing a 2 percent tax on former Chicago Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer for games played in Cleveland. Hillenmeyer is owed a partial refund, the court said in a unanimous decision.

The court also ruled that former Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday was unfairly taxed during the 2008 season because he was injured and not with the team for a game in Cleveland.

Most cities tax athletes based on games played as a precentage of the season. Cleveland uses a games-played method that regards professional athletes as they were paid only to play in games.

Ohio law specifies that entertainers or athletes are excluded from bans on municipalties taxing performers who are in the state 12 or fewer days per year.

The city is considering its options on how to proceed, Cleveland spokesman Daniel Bell said in a statement.

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