Over a week ago, Major League Baseball owners agreed to a proposal to start the MLB season in early July. However, this proposal was not endorsed by California Governor Gavin Newsom. Newsom said,
“We’ll see where we will be in July.”
Newsom has been cautious of making any big decisions until May 18th, when he announced that pro sports would be invited to play within California, no fans, and it had to be approved by the public health officials. Newsom added that sports could resume in California in the first week or so of June if the health officials authorized it.
There is a “jock tax” in almost all states, which charges athletes’ income tax every day they work in the state. The highest “jock tax” in the country is California’s at a rate of 13.3%. Governor Newsom may have needed to reconsider his initial decision when state analysts had projected a $54-billion deficit. That deficit would be the worst in the state’s history.
According to Jeffrey Becker, who calculated the estimates, if all 162 games during the 2020 baseball season had been played, the state could have produced about $143 million in taxes from baseball players.
A study was done in 2019 by the Los Angeles Sports Council, the county’s economic development corporation estimated that sports events and teams in Los Angeles and Orange counties produced 39,000 jobs and state and local taxes totaling to $328 million.
Sports could be back in June or July without fans as the trend lines continue in California. If baseball returns, California could save $45 million in “jock tax” revenue.