Thursday, November 29, 2018

Bobbleheads aren't legally free giveaways according to Ohio Supreme Court


So giveaways aren't giveaways anymore since they are advertised and are a part of the ticket. This all just got interesting... Thanks to Shannon over at MP for this...

I thought that at least with the Mets that the giveaways were paid for by sponsors and not a part of the ticket pricing...

This looks like it all come from the Reds and sales tax issues...

From NBC Sports

The law in Ohio, as in all states with a sales tax, is that if you’re buying something, you pay tax on it. The exception, as in most states, is that if you’re buying something in order to resell it (i.e. from a wholesaler, distributor or whatever) you don’t pay taxes. Ohio taxation authorities took the position that, since the Reds gave away the bobbleheads, they are the end purchaser, they don’t fall under the resale exception and they thus had to pay taxes on the bobbleheads they bought from the manufacturer. The Reds took the position that they were, technically, re-selling bobbleheads to fans, so they did not have to pay a tax. The fans do, and since ticket prices include taxes, the taxes have been paid.
Given that no money changes hands when you pick up a bobblehead on your way into the ballpark on giveaway day — heck, given that it’s quite literally a “giveaway” — you may wonder how you, as a fan, are being “re-sold” bobbleheads and how, exactly, the Reds won their argument. I could, if I felt inclined, talk about the pro-business, anti-tax nature of the current Ohio Supreme Court and wave my hand at it all being a giveaway to an Ohio company like the Reds, but you don’t want to hear me rant about that. Instead, I’ll just sum up the court’s reasoning.
The court said, based on the testimony of the Reds’ CFO, that they advertise which games will include promotional items in advance so fans purchase their tickets expecting to receive the bobblehead and that the ticket prices reflect the cost of the bobbleheads, passed on to the customer. Why don’t bobblehead day tickets cost more, then? Because, the Reds said (and the court agreed), they smooth out the costs over the course of all 81 home games. The important thing here, the court said, is that the Reds promise fans a bobblehead, the fans buy a ticket expecting to get one, they buy tickets with the cost of the bobbleheads baked in and, bam, that makes it a sale, not a giveaway.
Which also means that, contrary to what teams tell you and what you have come to expect, it’s not first-come-first-serve, on bobbleheads and you’re not out of luck if you show up late and can’t get one. From the court’s opinion:
The tickets themselves do not state or include any guarantee regarding promotional items. However, [The Reds’ CFO] testified that fans who purchase tickets to games at which promotional items are offered “[a]bsolutely” believe that they are purchasing both the promotional item and the right to view the game at the ballpark. He said that fans expect and feel entitled to receive the promotional items, and he explained that it would be a “public relations nightmare” if the Reds reneged on the commitment to distribute them . . .
Read more here

From Metspolice.com



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