Senator Tom Coburn wants to tax NFL, NHL, PGA Tour

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Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn believes he can raise $91 million by taxing the NFL and NHL. (Susan Walsh/AP)

The National Football League generates billions of dollars every year as America's most popular sporting competition.

But in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service, it's practically a charity.

Yes, the NFL is exempt from paying federal taxes. It's officially classified by the IRS as a 501(c)(6) organization, which refers to a section of the tax code that describes kinds of non-profit entities.

Now a high-profile senator wants to do something about that.

Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has his eye on the NFL's largesse, and wants to claim a piece of it for the government. He has sponsored a bill that would bar professional sports organizations from claiming tax-exempt status. In addition to the NFL, the bill specifically targets the PGA Tour and the National Hockey League.

If the bill passes, it could generate as much as $91 million in tax revenue for year from just the NFL and NHL.

Read more from the Newark Star-Ledger here.