House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.)'s proposed $46 billion tax cut for small businesses would likely be a home run for lucrative sports teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, a congressional staffer confirmed Wednesday.
Last month, Cantor proposed allowing all small businesses -- companies with fewer than 500 employees -- to take an income tax deduction of up to 20 percent, regardless of industry or income. During a question and answer session Wednesday, Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Thomas Barthold said the cut still applied to any small business, including rich ones.
"Last night there was breaking news that in my town of Los Angeles, our baseball franchise, the Los Angeles Dodgers just sold for $2 billion. They obviously had a pretty high payroll for some of their employees. If they happen to have fewer than 500 employees, would they qualify for this small business tax cut?" Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) asked.
"As has been noted, there's no prohibition by type of enterprise or business so if the Dodger organization...numbered fewer than 500 employees, the Dodgers would qualify, sir," Thomas Barthold said.
Answering further questions, Barthold said other sports teams, as well as companies owned by Donald Trump, Larry Flynt and Paris Hilton would also qualify for the tax cut if they passed the common control test and were determined to have fewer than 500 employees.
Barthold also said there was no requirement that a company hire people or refrain from outsourcing jobs to qualify.
"Is there a requirement that you create jobs?" Becerra asked.
"There’s no requirement on the result of the tax relief," Barthold said.
Democrats have criticized that element of Cantor's plan, and this week offered a more-targeted $26 billion small business break.
Cantor spokeswoman Laena Fallon noted, however, that the majority leader's bill would help 22 million businesses with an average cut of about $6,500.
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Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) later apologized to Barthold for Becerra's questions, saying, "Perhaps the gentleman who alluded to every business that’s some type of immoral or illicit quality to it reflects the type of businesses in his congressional district.”
Cantor has defended his bill by questioning whether Congress should determine which businesses qualify. “As far as excluding businesses, which one may or may not approve of their legal activities, we don't make those distinctions when we're talking about corporate rates or individual rates," Cantor said.
Earlier proposals in 2009 and 2010 would have blocked some industries from receiving the deduction, including banking and investment firms and pornography producers.
Here's a look at some businesses that would likely receive aid under Cantor's proposal: