Rep. John Garamendi has called on the Justice Department to investigate the merger of the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf and has proposed legislation to strip the organization of its tax-exempt status.
California Democrat Guramendi introduced legislation this week called the “No Corporate Tax Exemption Act for Professional Sports” following what the lawmaker called a “surprise acquisition” of the PGA by the Saudi government wealth fund.
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The bill would close a tax loophole that benefits the PGA Tour by avoiding paying federal corporate taxes.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Garamendi said that if the PGA exemption is left untouched, “it will flow into the Saudi sovereign wealth fund through the LIV acquisition.”
“Saudi government wealth funds and MBS will get a tax cut, a tax cut in the US,” Garamendi told Fox News Digital, adding that the PGA “will pay tax because it is a charity under tax law.” No,” he added.
Garamendi explained that many professional sports leagues have had tax-exempt status for years, but have since abandoned that status.
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“PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan is ashamed of his and the rest of the PGA TOUR for the blatant hypocrisy of allowing the sovereign wealth of a foreign government with a history of human rights atrocities to take over America’s iconic sport. Leadership should change,” Garamendi added, adding that the merger “goes against PGA Tour players who refused hundreds of millions of dollars in salaries from the Saudi-backed LIV to coordinate with the league.” The right side of history and human decency. ”
“While countless American families are struggling to make ends meet and are paying their fair share, the Saudi Government Wealth Fund will pay for their blood money and potentially billions of dollars in profits,” Garamendi said. The idea of paying zero dollars in taxes is ridiculous.”
Garamendi said his new bill was “common sense” and would “correct this error and bring much-needed accountability to this issue.”
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Meanwhile, Garamendi said the merger of the PGA and LIV “creates an international monopoly that effectively controls all, or almost all, professional golf.”
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“Think of it this way, the deal looks like a Saudi Arabian control monopoly over professional golf,” said Garamendi. “And from a would-be pro golfer’s point of view, they’re basically going to have to bend the knee to Saudi Arabia and say, So what can I be in? Can I be in this too? Saudi Arabia can say yes or no’ . ”
Garamendi said the European Union as well as parliament should “take this seriously”.
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“I want the Justice Department to take up this issue, I hope the European Union does, and I will definitely ask parliamentary committees, such as the House Judiciary Committee,” said Garamendi. rice field.
Garamendi said that foreign governments “using bribes to achieve an objective can be financial or political.” pointed out the law.
“So what is this deal? Right? What are the financials of this deal? Where is the money going?” “Follow the money.”