From the Times -
In the negotiations that culminated in a new labor agreement that was announced yesterday, the union had the best interests of George Steinbrenner’s checkbook in mind. Whereas the other clubs are out to get the Yankees’ money and inhibit them from spending what is left, the union tried to help the Yankees.
The union proposed that the rate schedule for the tax on payrolls above designated thresholds start over in the new five-year agreement that was announced yesterday at Busch Stadium before Game 3 of the Word Series.
As a club that has exceeded the threshold and paid the tax each of the four years of the existing agreement, the Yankees pay at a rate of 40 percent. Last year they paid $34 million; this year they will pay just under $26 million.
The union wanted the Yankees to be able to go back next year to a rate of 22.5 percent, which they have not paid since 2003, the first year of the expiring agreement.
Oh yes. As hard as the union tried to scale back the Yankees’ tax rate for 2007 and subsequent seasons, the clubs’ negotiators wouldn’t go for it. But Steinbrenner should at least send Donald Fehr, the union chief, a thank-you note acknowledging the union effort. Who else does anything nice these days for poor old George?
More importantly, will the new CBA still allow teams to deduct new-stadium building costs from the revenue-sharing payments they make? If they took that away now, Big Stein should call a lawyer.