The state of Missouri says the St. Louis Rams owe taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Missouri Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday morning in Jefferson City in a complicated tax dispute between the St. Louis Rams LLC and the state.
The St. Louis Rams LLC sold tickets to NFL games played at the Edward Jones Dome, before the team moved to Los Angeles.
A St. Louis city ordinance imposes a five-percent entertainment license tax (ELC) on the gross receipts derived from admission charges to sporting events. The Rams included the ELC in the price of tickets it sold, collecting the five-percent tax from ticket buyers.
For three years, the Rams paid sales tax on all amounts it charged its customers, including the ELC.
However, for the next three years, the Rams did not collect or remit sales tax for the five percent ELC, and reduced by five percent the amount of sales it reported. The Missouri Department of Revenue assessed the Rams about $352,000 in sales tax.
Missouri Assistant Attorney General Emily Dodge’s 21-page brief says that from 2010 to 2013, the Rams did not collect or remit sales tax on personal seat license (PSL) sales.
The Rams have challenged that and want a $401,000 refund.
The Rams are represented by attorney Bradley Winters of the firm Sher Corwin Winters, LLC. Counselor Winters has filed a 22-page court brief.
Essentially, Winters argues two main points. First, he says an entertainment license tax is not a charge for “admission” and is not subject to Missouri taxation under state law. Second, Winters says Missouri law prohibits the imposition of sales tax on tax.
Oral arguments will begin at the Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday morning at 9. Missourinet’s Jason Taylor will be in the courtroom to cover arguments.