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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


Wisconsin taxes professional baseball, basketball, football, hockey and soccer athletes who don’t live in Wisconsin for the income they receive when their team plays in Wisconsin.

Here’s how much Major League Baseball players and team staff paid annually over the past decade, according to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue:

2013: $8,094,480

2014: $8,946,881

2015: $9,205,109

2016: $7,806,279

2017: $8,864,843

2018: $11,993,591

2019: $12,324,597

2020: $5,005,837

2021: $10,526,234

2022: $12,385,257

The Milwaukee Brewers baseball team says American Family Field, where it plays, needs $448 million in renovations.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and the Republican-controlled Legislature are considering whether to commit taxpayer money toward the renovations.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican, said in May 2023 that he is open to using the tax revenue received from visiting baseball players toward the renovations.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Wisconsin State Legislature Tax 2.31: Compensation received by nonresident members of professional athletic teams (page 11).

DocumentCloud MLB income tax withholdings email

FOX6 News Milwaukee | Wisconsin & Local Milwaukee News WITI American Family Field repairs; MLB commissioner to visit Thursday

DocumentCloud A plan to spend $448 million on AmFam Field remains in flux. Here’s what you need to know.

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.