The Cincinnati Reds v. Joseph W. Testa, Tax Commission of Ohio, Case no. 2017-0854
Ohio Board of Tax Appeals
Must Sports Team Pay Tax on Bobbleheads and Other Giveaways?
Is a promotional item given away with the purchase of a ticket to a sporting event a gift that is subject to Ohio's sales and use tax?
Is a promotional item included in the price of a baseball game ticket, even if the ticket price is the same for games where no promotional items are given away?
Is a ticket holder's requirement to attend the game to receive the promotional item a contractual agreement that qualifies the promotional item for a tax exemption?
The Cincinnati Reds are a major league baseball team, and its primary source of revenue is ticket sales. As an incentive to purchase tickets to certain home games, the Reds provide attending fans with promotional items that can change from game to game. Items vary, including caps, reusable grocery bags, framed photos, and bobbleheads. Bobbleheads, which are miniature statues of Reds players with oversized heads that bobble, are the most popular and valuable among the Reds' promotional items.