A luxury tax in professional sports is a surcharge put on the aggregate payroll of a team to the extent to which it exceeds a predetermined guideline level set by the league. The ostensible purpose of this "tax" is to prevent teams in major markets with high incomes from signing almost all of the more talented players and hence destroying the competitive balance necessary for a sport to maintain fan interest. The money derived from the "tax" is then divided among the teams that play in the smaller markets, presumably to allow them to have more revenue to devote toward the contracts of high-quality players.[1]

In North America, Major League Baseball has implemented the luxury tax system. The National Basketball Association also has a luxury tax provision; its utility is somewhat limited by the fact that the league also has a salary cap provision. The "hard" salary cap of the National Football League has prevented any need for a luxury tax arrangement.[2] The National Hockey League also has a hard salary cap.


  1. Dietl, H., Lang, M. and Werner, S. (2010): "The Effect of Luxury Taxes on Competitive Balance, Club Profits, and Social Welfare in Sports Leagues", forthcoming in International Journal of Sport Finance.
  2. Andreff, Wladimir; Stefan Szymański (2006). Handbook on the economics of sport. Edward Elgar Publishing, 656. ISBN 9781843766087. 
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Luxury tax. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

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