- Ronald Martinez/Getty
- House GOP leaders unveiled their tax plan on Thursday. The tax plan includes a shoutout of Stephen Curry as an example of someone who might try to use a tax loophole to lower his taxes. Curry is the only person mentioned by name in the tax plan.
House GOP leaders unveiled a tax bill on Thursday that proposes to make broad changes to the current system. And the legislation’s writers also took an opportunity to call out NBA star Stephen Curry.
Part of the legislation includes a lower tax rate for “pass-through” businesses, designed to ease the tax burden on small business owners where profits and losses pass through directly to the owner.
The “pass-through” tax cut has been criticized as a potential loophole for the wealthy – including the family of President Donald Trump – as a way to lower their own tax commitments, something Trump has denied. So when the GOP defended the tax plan’s change in a two-age summary released with the bill, they used Curry as an example of somebody who might try to take advantage of the loophole, and highlighted that the plan has safeguards built in to prevent that from happening.
In fact, Curry is reportedly the only person mentioned by name in the entire tax plan:
“The ‘Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’ includes specific safeguards to prevent tax avoidance and help ensure taxpayers of all income levels play by the rules under this new fairer, simpler tax system. Our legislation will ensure this much-needed tax relief goes to the local job creators it’s designed to help by distinguishing between the individual wage income of NBA All-Star Stephen Curry and the pass-through business income of Steve’s Bike Shop.”
In other words, the plan would prevent a wealthy individual, such as Curry, from incorporating himself and then classifying his $34.7 million salary as “pass-through income.”
A recent example of this in the sports world is a situation in Kansas where the highest-paid coaches at Kansas universities have some of their “income” diverted to LLCs they have set up. The benefit is that, in Kansas, LLCs are not subject to state income tax.
This is not the first time the House has cited a famous person in their explanations. In a 2016 post on tax reform, they noted that “the small business income of Bill the Electrician will no longer be subject to the same tax rates as the wage income of Bill Gates.” In a similar fashion earlier this year, they wrote, “We decided that it was finally time to stop taxing Tom’s Bike Shop and Tom Brady at the same rate.”
This latest juxtiposition between Curry and a small business was eyebrow raising because he and Trump have had somewhat of a budding feud. Curry had said on multiple occasions that he would not go to the Trump White House to celebrate the Golden State Warriors’ most recent championship. After the most recent pronouncement, Trump then withdrew the “invitation” despite reports that the invitation had yet to be extended and it was unclear if it ever would have been.
Curry responded on Twitter by mentioning the other business in the bill’s example, saying, “I wonder if Steve’s Bike shop is hiring…”
I wonder if Steve’s Bike shop is hiring…
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) November 2, 2017