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AROUND THE MAJOR LEAGUES

BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : Labor Negotiations Tiptoe Forward

February 22, 1996|ROSS NEWHAN

The pace of baseball's halting labor process continued to accelerate Wednesday, when management negotiators presented a proposal that adopted elements of a payroll tax plan offered by the union Feb. 8.

A management source said that the tax plan is the only substantive issue separating the sides.

The union's proposal of Feb. 8 called for a 2.5% tax on all player salaries during each of the first three years of a six-year contract, generating about $25 million a year for the owners' revenue-sharing fund and other joint-growth funds.

In the next two years, the union proposed a 25% tax on portions of payrolls above $50 million, with the rate going to 30% in the final year of the agreement if industry revenue reached $2.7 billion.

Management responded Wednesday with a seven-year proposal that called for adoption of the union's salary tax in the first year and gave the union a second-year option of a 5% salary tax or shifting to the tax rate proposed by management on Nov. 15: 25% on portions of payrolls above $44 million.

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