Colts and Bears Lose in Cleveland on Same Day!

Ohio Board of Tax Appeals Says No Relief for Two Former NFL Players

by Teresa Ambord on Feb 11 2014

A couple months ago, we reported that two retired NFL players had each sued the city of Cleveland, Ohio, claiming the city unfairly and improperly taxed their incomes. After former Chicago Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer and former Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday lost their separate cases and initial appeals, they asked the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals to review the arguments.

In each of their lawsuits against the city, Hillenmeyer and Saturday accused tax authorities of applying an unfair method of taxation to their incomes.

The two former players claimed the “games-played method” the city of Cleveland uses results in tax liabilities that are considerably higher than the more common method of calculating what is known as the “jock tax.” Under the games-played method, if an athlete is on the roster, Cleveland applies a 2 percent tax rate to the number of games played in Cleveland – preseason, regular season, and playoffs – compared to the number of games played by the team during the year.

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