Court: Reds exempt from tax on promotional bobbleheads

Ohio
Bobblehead Tax Court_1542829752203

Cincinnati Reds bobbleheads are posed for display, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, in Cincinnati. The Ohio Supreme Court says the Cincinnati Reds are exempt from paying tax on the purchase of bobbleheads and other promotional items that the baseball team offers to ticket buyers. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court says the Cincinnati Reds are exempt from paying tax on the purchase of bobbleheads and other promotional items the baseball team offers to ticket buyers.

The opinion written by Justice Patrick Fischer warned that Wednesday’s ruling was specific to the case and might not apply for other sports organizations.

But the Department of Taxation’s chief legal counsel, Matt Chafin, says the decision essentially shows professional teams how to avoid the “use tax” on promotional items.

The department argued the bobbleheads should be taxed because they’re bought by the Reds as giveaways, not sold with tickets. The Reds argued they’re exempt because they resell the items as part of the ticket package and Ohio law exempts companies from paying tax on items they buy to resell.

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