WWE Seeks State Assistance, Settles Tax Disagreement
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.