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The New England Patriots kneel during the national anthem before a game. Photo: Michael Dwyer / AP

President Trump again today tweeted against the NFL, with a particular emphasis on taxes: "Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!"

Bottom line: The NFL doesn't receive any federal tax breaks, having given up its tax-exempt status in 2015. But the NFL does benefit from the existence of tax-exempt bonds that some state and municipal governments use to finance new stadiums, and President Trump could suggest a change via the tax plan that is currently being devised.

Bond backgrounder: A majority of new professional sports stadiums today are financed via tax-exempt bonds that actually are issued by state and local governments, rather than by the teams themselves. It's basically taking advantage of a loophole in the 1986 tax law that was supposed to close a prior loophole surrounding tax-exempt bonds for stadium financings. So long as the issuing government doesn't repay the bond via direct or indirect stadium revenue, although many governments get around this via "tourist taxes" on things like hotel rooms and restaurants.

How much? A Brookings report from last year found that around $13 billion worth of tax-exempt bonds have been used since 2000 to finance stadiums for America's four major pro sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA), representing between $3 billion and $3.7 billion in lost federal tax revenue. Of the four leagues, Major League Baseball had the highest average amount of stadiums financed by tax-exempt bonds.

What to do: President Obama proposed a ban on tax-exempt bonds for pro sports stadiums in his 2016 budget, but it didn't go anywhere. Given that Trump is currently asking for the largest tax system overhaul since 1986, he could perhaps insist that something similar be included, although it's highly unlikely that Congress would tie tax-exempt status to a specific league or whether or not that league's players stand for the National Anthem.

Go deeper

In photos: Deadly Cyclone Tauktae leaves trail of destruction across India

A police officer helps a public transport driver cross a flooded street due to heavy rain caused by Tropical Cyclone Tauktae in Mumbai, India, on May 17. Photo: Ashish Vaishnav/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tropical Cyclone Tauktae killed at least 16 people in India after making landfall in Gujarat Monday, packing 100mph winds, and sweeping across Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, per Reuters.

The big picture: The storm unleashed heavy rains and winds as authorities continued to grapple with surging infection rates and deaths from COVID-19. Over 200,000 people were evacuated from Gujarat, and ports, airports and vaccination centers shut in the state and Mumbai, Reuters reports. Tauktae weakened from a Category 3 storm into a "severe cyclonic storm" Tuesday morning local time.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Yellen wants business to help foot infrastructure bill

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is heading into the belly of the beast Tuesday and asking the business community to support President Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan during a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Why it matters: By trying to persuade a skeptical and targeted audience, Yellen is signaling the president’s commitment to raising corporate taxes to pay for his plan. Republican senators, critical to a potential bipartisan deal, oppose any corporate tax increase.

4 hours ago - World

Schumer's Israel vise

Sen. Chuck Schumer addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March 2014. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's longtime support for Israel puts him on a collision course with the progressive wing of his party as the conflict between Israel and Hamas worsens.

Why it matters: This is the toughest political position the New York Democrat has been in since becoming majority leader. The fighting in the Middle East is dividing his party — and creating a clear rift among its different wings.