Cap on Payroll, tax payroll or tax the players?

Joe at Tasca's take has an article up with regards to the latest fruitless session between the NHLPA and the Owners... This lead me to try to comment on the idea but a 1000 character reply field really stopped me dead.

My comment wasn't goign to be on being anti-union and pro-league, it wasn't going to be pro-cap to anti-free market (both stances I do support). It was another means of adding salary limitations on the players directly and not on teams directly. I don't know if this is anything like what has been proposed by either side..

Baseball has a very flawed tax system that gets teams money from big payroll clubs like the Yankees and the Red Sox... It's not directly limiting payroll but it's supposed to be an influence. It's a failure because it charges the teams and not the players specifically. Why not have a tax system on salaries themselves? If, say, a player agrees to a deal for a million dollar contract (one year, one million dolars), why not tax it something like 10 percent? (Ten percent of that million dollars -- 100 grand -- goes to the league) It's like an income tax...

Players can still get their huge windfall contracts BUT they have to put some of that money towards the league. If someone signs a contract worth 11 million a year over 5 years (55 Mil contract), a portion of that moolah should be going into a income tax pool. It would be a higher tax bracket than the players only making a few hundred thousand a year...

Is it a failed idea or does it have some merit? I hate the idea of teams having to police themselves with their spending on an open market, and yet I also hate there not being restrictions on pay that is just exploding. Having an income tax might influence players to take smaller contracts in order to get around taxation and even out payrolls.

But then again - the players don't want any salary limitations period, and that is why the league is in trouble in the first place as salaries escalate and income faulters.

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