WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) today introduced legislation to increase funding for domestic violence prevention programs by $100 million next year, paid for by closing a decades-old tax loophole used by professional sporting leagues.

Domestic violence is a national problem. More than 40 million women have experienced some form of physical violence at the hands of a partner in their lifetime.

“This legislation will help ensure that victims of domestic violence have the resources they need to break away from abusers and begin rebuilding their lives,” Sen. Booker said.

Ten professional sports leagues – including the National Football League, National Hockey League, Professional Golf Association and U.S. Tennis Association – currently enjoy tax-exempt status under 501(c)(6) of the tax code. While individual sports teams pay taxes, the dues each team pays to support the leagues’ front offices are not taxed. Some leagues have been using this exemption since the 1960s.

“Stopping domestic violence is a national priority that requires long-term, meaningful investment.” Booker said. “This commonsense update to our tax laws would save more than $100 million over 10 years – money that can instead be used to pay for vital support programs that have seen their funding slashed in recent years due to sequestration and gridlock.” Under the Booker-sponsored Securing Assistance for Victim Empowerment (SAVE) Act, money would be administered by the Department of Health and Human Services to help fund shelters, counseling, support for children who witness domestic violence, and prevention efforts through various state programs.