Ohio Supreme Court limits Cleveland’s “Jock Tax”

As we all know individuals may be taxed in any state in which they work. This paradigm applies to artists and entertainers alike especially those working in Cleveland. Cleveland’s so called ‘Jock Tax” allows the locality to tax professional artists and entertainers for any days throughout the year worked in Cleveland while providing an exception for non-professionals who work 12 days or less in the city.

Recently the Ohio Supreme Court limited Clevelands ability to tax artist and entertainers by holding the state’s tax computation methods violative of the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process clause. Essentially NFL athletes work 168 days out of the year and two of those days are spent in respective cities not including any playoff games, Cleveland’s method of computation held 1/20 (5%) game days v 2/168 (1.19%) NFL duty days. The court found the duty days method of computation more in line with the fourteenth amendment due process clause guarantees.

Although the court limited the method of computation it still held that the state may continue to tax only professional artists and entertainers because professional athletes and entertainers more greatly burden Cleveland’s infrastructure regardless of how many days they work.


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