Indiana University

National Sports Journalism Center

Sports Media News

Deadspin’s Craggs exposes New Jersey Nets’ use roster depreciation write-off to manipulate profits, losses

Columbia Journalism Review’s Ryan Chittum writes, “Gawker’s sports site Deadspin got hold of some New Jersey Nets financial statements from a few years ago and uses them to report on how tax law gives multimillionaire ballclub owners egregious benefits.

Tommy Craggs does a good job showing how the Nets could earn $7 million but report a $28 million loss in 2004, or as he aptly puts it, ‘how a team makes money and how it pretends not to be making any money at all.’

The Nets benefit from a writeoff called the roster depreciation allowance that allows pro teams to depreciate their assets, which in this case are workers:

The underlying logic is specious at best. As Fort points out, a team’s roster at any given moment isn’t actually depreciating. While some players are fading with age, others are developing and improving. But the Nets don’t have to pay more taxes when a player becomes more valuable. And in any case, the cost of depreciation is borne by the athletes themselves, when they pass their primes and lose their personal earning power.”

Tools: | permalink

No Responses to “Deadspin’s Craggs exposes New Jersey Nets’ use roster depreciation write-off to manipulate profits, losses”


    Leave a Reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Our Voices

    Guest Blogs

    more Guest Blogs »

    The Buzz

    Oct 16, 2014CNN cancels ‘Unguarded’ with Rachel Nichols

    CNN’s first sports show in over a decade, “Unguarded” with Rachel Nichols, has been canceled as part of plans to cut approximately 300 positions. (TVNewser)

    Oct 16, 2014NHL on NBC tweet gone awry

    Sept. 15, the NHL on NBC Twitter account asked an all-important question: “Does hockey still have a place in the NHL?” [Awful Announcing]

    Oct 6, 2014Jaguars mascot apologizes for Ebola joke

    Jacksonville Jaguars mascot Jaxson de Ville apologized Monday after holding up a Pittsburgh Steelers ‘Terrible Towel’ and a sign that read “Towels Carry Ebola.” [Deadspin]

    more of The Buzz »