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WWE Seeks State Assistance, Settles Tax Disagreement

by Christine Stuart | Oct 18, 2012 3:48pm
(5) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Business, Congress, Election 2012, Jobs, Legal

World Wrestling Entertainment, the company formerly run by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon, said it applied for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s “Next Five” program, which gives low-interest loans and tax incentives to companies that promise to create at least 200 jobs.

George Barrios, the chief financial office of the WWE, mentioned the application in a conference call with reporters to talk about the $4.4 million settlement with the state over its corporate tax bill.

While Barrios declined to say exactly how much the company requested, he said it is seeking assistance in establishing its own WWE network.

The internal memo discussing the tax settlement that prompted the conference call was posted on a blog called “Concussions Inc.” by Irv Muchnick.

Muchnick is an author and journalist who details some of the darker side of the wrestling world.

Barrios said he felt it was necessary to host the conference call to talk about the tax settlement with the state because Muchnick’s characterization of the WWE as tax scofflaws was offensive, and just shy of slanderous.

Asked if he was defending the WWE or McMahon, it’s former CEO, Barrios said “if someone is going to put something in the public domain besmirching us as a company, that’s going to get our interest.”

The document posted by Muchnick was an internal communication and part of a larger tax settlement between the company and the state. Barrios said they decided to settle instead of litigate the issue any further.

He said the company is comfortable with the settlement, which allows them to treat the broadcast portion of the business under a single prong test based on sales, while the rest of the business is taxed using sales, the number of employees, and assets.

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(5) Comments

posted by: Lawrence | October 18, 2012  8:45pm

So… Linda McMahon (NOT “Linda”—sorry, the brainwashing has no effect) is negotiating a tax settlement with the state of CT.. and is then asking for CT taxpayer dollars to prop up her (supposedly) successful (according to her advertising vomit) WWE?

This cannot be true. Nobody—not even the McMahons, I think—are so dumb as to rip off taxpayers twice in the same deal.

Or are they?


posted by: NoNonsense2012 | October 18, 2012  10:32pm

This just keeps getting better and better.

posted by: Noteworthy | October 19, 2012  7:06am

The haters just hate. You think this is some special scofflaw case? Really. I guess by the same standards, you think the RYO Tabacco people were scofflaws and Scholastic Books that sells great books to our school childrenare tax cheats too? In the RYO fight, the state reclassified a business and put them out of business; with Scholastic, the state claims teachers are sales agents and sued Scholastic for some $10 million. All tax cheats right? Wrong.

posted by: MGKW | October 19, 2012  7:55am

Wow! You cannot make this up! Where’s Vince? We should ask him how he got the state to cooperate…maybe he threatened to turn his steriod warriors on Malloy!

posted by: Lawrence | October 19, 2012  8:41pm

Follow the links.

The WWE is settling tax cases with not only CT, but with North Carolina, Hawaii, California, New York City, Georgia, Minnesota, Ohio and Illinois.

Did they all just “reclassify” the WWE too?

And you don’t address the issue of WWE applying for state funds (and not just film tax credits.) I guess they are entitled—but how does it square with some of candidate McMahon’s comments on state taxpayer support for business growth? Not very well, according to Dan Haar’s story in today’s Courant.

Mrs. McMahon made a lot of hay out of Murphy’s late tax payments, which totaled in the thousands or tens of thousands (correct me if I’m wrong.) A large, multinational corp. with an entire floor or two of highly trained and well-paid corporate tax attys. having to settle a combined total of multi-millions in tax disputes with nearly a dozen U.S. states does not speak well of the business practices of a corporation formed and grown by said candidate.

You can argue her culpability here. But Mrs. McMahon wants to claim all the business benefits of her connection with the WWE, but none of its faults.

Sorry, but it’s a package deal.