World Series taxes will give Philadelphia an economic boost

ByChad Pradelli and Cheryl Mettendorf WPVI logo
Friday, November 4, 2022
World Series taxes will give Philadelphia an economic boost
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After visiting Philly for the World Series, the Houston Astros will also have to pony up their share of the roughly 3% non-resident city wage tax.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- After suffering a Covid-19-related dent in the city wage tax, the World Series is helping to fill the hole.

Some tax professionals have called it the "jock" tax, and the visiting Houston Astros will also have to pony up their share of the roughly 3% non-resident city wage tax.

For high-priced pitcher Justin Verlander, that equates to about $15,000 for his four-day work week at Citizens Bank Park.

"And remember, he's a resident of Texas. So that's a tax he wouldn't otherwise have to pay since Texas does not have a state tax and certainly doesn't have a city tax," said attorney Steve Kidder.

Kidder represents all four of the major sports league players' associations.

He said Philadelphia was one of the first teams to aggressively go after wage tax revenue from visiting teams back in the early 1990s when it hired a tax attorney to go after athletes.

"So he sent out these notices to all the professional football, baseball, basketball and hockey players who probably played in the last 15 years," said Kidder. "And he went after taxes going back to whenever they played a game in Philadelphia."

The total tally for the Astros team is estimated to be roughly $90,000 for the World Series.

The city told Action News it is still too early to know the total tax revenue from the Fall Classic.

But add in restaurant and bar revenue, the 5% amusement tax on tickets, the 8.5% tax on hotel rooms and other taxes, and the city is expected to get a little bump in pay though paltry in the overall picture of tax revenue.

"That hotel room demand during the NLCS, we saw that there was a 10% increase in Center City hotel occupancy versus the prior three weeks," said Angela Val with Visit Philadelphia. "We would expect to see that same kind of increase during the World Series during the home games."

Val said more than anything, the World Series provides a sense of civic pride that you can't put a price tag on.