According to a recent New Jersey court ruling, a Major League Soccer franchise is legally responsible for $3 million in property taxes.
The New York Red Bulls are indebted to the New Jersey town of Harrison. According to court records, the Red Bulls played at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison throughout the past four years, and town has billed them for $2.8 million since 2010.
“We respect the court’s decision and will discuss our legal options internally . . . we look forward to continue being a partner for the Town of Harrison and its development for the many years to come,” said a team statement.
The team did pay the taxes, but has since filed a lawsuit to have the tax payments reimbursed to them, a Red Bulls spokesperson told reporters.
According to an Associated Press (AP), “In the lawsuit, the Red Bulls claimed they are exempt from paying taxes under state law because the property and stadium are devoted to “an essential public purpose.”
The town of Harrison, and an area redevelopment agency, have access to the facility and can use the stadium for events such as championship games or other public gatherings.
“Yesterday’s appellate ruling held that while those other uses benefit the public, they are subordinate to the Red Bulls’ uses of the stadium and therefore don’t qualify the stadium for exemption under state law,” wrote AP.
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