Tax breaks power PGA Tour giving

Votaw says it's not fair to combine Coburn's attempt to take away the tour's nonprofit status with an examination of its individual tournaments -- which would not lose their tax-exempt status under the provisions in Coburn's bill.

"We believe that Sen. Coburn's bill would have a chilling effect on the amount of money raised for charity while generating very little in additional tax revenues," Votaw said. "Sen. Coburn has spent a lifetime trying to reduce the size and scope of government and believes in a strong private sector. If charity is chilled as a result of his proposed bill -- and we believe it will be -- the local organizations that benefit from the PGA Tour will likely turn to government for help.

"In many respects, the tour is the embodiment of what Sen. Coburn believes in. The cost of the exemption is negligible, but the private sector support for charity that is generated is extraordinary and unprecedented in professional sports."

Producer Arty Berko of ESPN's Enterprise and Investigative Unit contributed to this report.

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