One of my friends in the media hit me up today for information on the all-time luxury tax standings. I whipped up a spreadsheet showing each team’s luxury tax payments in each year, and sent it off to him.
After that I started to think a little more about the topic. The spreadsheet I did for my friend just showed the amounts each team paid in every season for which there was a tax. But that tax money (well…a lot of it) is distributed back to the non-taxpaying teams. So what’s the cumulative net effect of the luxury tax — money paid netted against money received?
I got to work on the problem, and what you see here is the result. In the table below money paid by teams is in red and money received by teams is in green. Under the 2005 and 2011 agreements teams were either taxpayers or beneficiaries; however under the 1999 agreement teams could be both, and the figures you see represent their net payment or receipt.
At the right of each row is the team’s cumulative total. For example, the Hawks received a cumulative $17.4 million from the luxury tax system over the years, while the Celtics paid a cumulative $32.8 million.
At the bottom are the totals for each season — money paid by teams into the luxury tax fund, money distributed back to teams, and money kept by the league for “league purposes.”
All amounts are $millions.