Controversial statement from Geoff Molson: a new proposal surfaces and could change everything

Published September 17, 2023 at 2:19 PM

As per his usual, Geoff Molson appeared in front of the media on the sidelines of the Canadiens' golf tournament earlier this week.

If his responses regarding his expectations for the team this season are nothing surprising, his viewpoint on ticket prices has greatly sparked conversation.

Indeed, many think that the Habs are overdoing it with the ticket prices, especially during a rebuilding period. However, the club owner thinks otherwise, noting that this increase is similar across all league organizations, not just in Montreal.

A controversial statement that caused a buzz.

Regarding this increase, the economic columnist at 98.5FM, Pierre-Yves McSween, believes that the problem is strongly tied to taxation and could be resolved, or at least controlled, with legislation.

Indeed, McSween thinks that it is the ability for companies to deduct tickets for shows or sporting events on their taxes that contributes (or greatly assists) to the increase in ticket prices. Preventing or minimizing this privilege for companies could therefore be of great help, here's why:

"What fills Canadian amphitheaters, let's face it, are the companies. The companies buy a season ticket for 10-12 thousand dollars, deduct it, bring their friends and claim them to be employees or clients. But sometimes, it's even the single SME owner who affords this. After that, they go on Kijiji and sell the rest of the tickets there and personally cash it in." - Pierre-Yves McSween

"So basically, they deduct it in the company by 50%, then cash it in personally. It's a way, not to launder, but to defiscalize money that should be taxed." - Pierre-Yves McSween

"The important thing here is not the saved taxes or the saved company taxes, but the personal tax [...] You don't pay corporate tax but you don't pay the personal tax that you should be paying. If hockey tickets are too expensive, it's because they are fiscally subsidized by the entire population. If you stop subsidizing it, I guarantee you that ticket prices will go down." - Pierre-Yves McSween

To explain his last point, the columnist uses the example of an individual purchase of tickets for, say, 300$. To afford it, the single SME owner would have had to pay himself a salary of 600$ in order to have 300$ net in his pocket to buy the said ticket. Therefore, he saves a substantial amount of personal tax, in addition to the one saved for his company.

Legislation could therefore have a cause-and-effect up to the Canadiens' courtyard, which, seeing that companies would no longer be as present to buy, might consider adjusting its prices. It is true that this solution is not optimal and that the Habs will not drastically reduce their prices, but if at least we could have a decent secondary market, that would be something!
September 17   |   183 answers
Controversial statement from Geoff Molson: a new proposal surfaces and could change everything

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