You Paid for it: Tax reform could raise cost of OSU football tickets

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The net cost for Ohio State football season tickets next year may be a lot higher, and it has nothing to do with actual ticket prices. It’s because of the upcoming tax reform happening at the Capitol in Washington. Lawmakers are taking aim at the tax deduction many season ticket holders take advantage of every season.

Like many big universities, OSU requires non-student season ticket holders make a donation to the university before they can buy tickets. One way to get inside all home and away games is to make a $3,000 donation to the Buckeye Club and then you are allowed to buy tickets. Under the current rules, 80% of that is tax deductible as it’s viewed as a charitable contribution.

Under the looming tax reform, “The tax savings goes away,” said Ted Johnson, an accountant with Parms and Company in Columbus, “That whole benefit will be wiped out,” Johnson added.

The change in the tax code specifically targets donations made to a university in exchange for access to season tickets.

“If you make that contribution to take advantage of that, the contribution you make cannot be tax deductible,” Johnson said.

Lawmakers supporting the tax reform say the change will benefit all Americans by putting more money into the pockets of all citizens. Analysts say Congressional Republicans are eliminating many tax deductions to help pay for lowering personal income and corporate tax rates.

The current arrangement allows a school or athletic department to reap the benefits of a large donation, while the fan gets to write it off on their taxes. Eliminating the tax break could create revenue problems for schools.

The Ohio State University declined to comment on the story at this time.

Attempts have been made in the past for this tax break elimination but have all failed.

According to Johnson, although the House of Representatives has passed their version of the bill, it may still go through changes and have some exceptions, but at this point, the Buckeye Football tax write off, is about to be intercepted by the federal government.