The Missouri Supreme Court ruled June 2 that the state was wrong to charge the Kansas City Chiefs about $930,000 in taxes for items used in the renovation of Arrowhead Stadium.
The Administrative Hearing Commission had found the team liable for sales and use taxes on items ranging from LED end-zone scoreboards to a statue of team founder Lamar Hunt and the clay molds used to make it.
But Judge Laura Denvir Stith, writing for the unanimous court, said the team didn’t actually purchase the contested items. The Chiefs contributed cash to the project’s financing board and had responsibility for the renovations that began in 2006. But the money for the project ultimately belonged to Jackson County, the court said.
“This Court is not free to simply ignore the laws governing donations and the relevant tax statutes because the Director does not like the fact that the team ultimately benefited from the project the team helped fund,” Stith wrote. “This Court cannot substitute its judgment for that of the legislature that such projects serve an overarching public purpose.”
The case is Kansas City Chiefs Football Club Inc. v. Director of Revenue, SC97730.