Money

ESPN Gets $260 Million in Connecticut State Tax Breaks

| by Michael Allen

ESPN has received about $260 million in state tax breaks and credits over the past 12 years as a reward for staying in Bristol, Conn.

Connecticut taxpayers are unknowingly providing corporate welfare for the cable sportscaster, which makes more than $6 billion a year.

According to The New York Times' analysis of public records, ESPN gets $84.7 million in development tax credits because of a media program and a tax savings of about $15 million yearly because the media giant lobbied for a state tax code change in 2000.

For his part, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy (D) has acted as a dutiful servant for ESPN.

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“After I was elected, this was one of the first companies that I came to,” Gov. Malloy told reporters after an ESPN groundbreaking ceremony. “I made it clear that ESPN’s needs were not going to be ignored by my administration.”

Gov. Malloy’s justification for the corporate welfare is that ESPN employs 4,000 people in Connecticut, which is true, but that comes to paying the sportscasting company about $65,000 per job.

In October 2011, Gov. Malloy agreed to loan another $20 million to NBC Sports to move their headquarters to Stamford, Conn. and create 400 jobs, reported CBS New York. That deal came out to about $50,000 per job.

NBC Sports is owned by the multibillion dollar corporation NBC-Universal.

Sources: CBS New York and The New York Times