By asserting it was losing money, the Real Salt Lake soccer team quietly persuaded Salt Lake County officials to cut its property tax on Rio Tinto Stadium by nearly half starting back in 2012.
That off-the-field victory has saved the team more than an estimated $5 million in taxes since then — equivalent to about 70 percent of the team’s guaranteed player payroll this year of $7.4 million. (Pro soccer players are paid less than stars in many other sports).
The tax cut happened so quietly that it never drew public attention until now. Even Salt Lake County Council members who approved it say they don’t remember the vote nor discussing it, noting it was buried among more than 700 revaluations proposed by the county assessor’s office in the same meeting.