Skip to comments.Phil Mickelson and the Sports Star Tax Migration (Plenty of elite athlete company in Florida)
Posted on 01/28/2013 8:21:21 AM PST by SeekAndFind
America's top-grossing golfer Phil Mickelson drove himself into a bunker on Jan. 20 when he said that federal and California state tax hikes had made him contemplate making "drastic changes" in his lifeincluding, it was widely assumed, moving to a no-income-tax state such as Texas or Florida. But he was only stating publicly what many professional athletes are mulling privately.
No doubt they'll keep their thoughts private, too, given the uproar that ensued. The golfer known as Lefty outraged lefties by noting that a tax burden of more than 60% seemed excessive. Didn't he know that athletesunlike Hollywood celebritiesare supposed to keep their politics to themselves? Mr. Mickelson quickly apologized for teeing off his critics. "Finances and taxes are a personal matter," he said. In any event, Mr. Mickelson certainly wouldn't be the first athlete to consider relocating for tax purposes.
Last week, Lefty's rival, Tiger Woods, acknowledged that he left California for Florida in 1996 when he turned pro because of the difference in state tax. California's top marginal rate then was 9.3% for individuals earning more than $32,000. The move was particularly farsighted given that rates on high earners in California have since soared.
In November, voters in California approved a ballot measure raising the top rate on income over $1 million to 13.3% (the increase applies retroactively to last year). According to SportsIllustrated.com, Mr. Woods grossed $56.4 million in 2012. As a Floridian, he will keep about $7.5 million that he otherwise would have owed to the state of California. His net tax savings over his 16-year career come to about $100 million. Mr. Mickelson last year earned $60.7 million. Paying the 13.3% California rate, he will owe the state $8 million.
"The day California passed the tax increase, I received three calls from concerned athletes,"
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Clearly Phil’s sponsors took him out behind the woodshed and forced his recantation. As Michael Jordan once famously stated as an explanation for his apolitical stance, “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”
But, as a positive role model and person most golf fans like, Mickelson should grow some cajones and leave California for Florida or Texas. He is one of the few golf pros who hasn’t done that already. The money saved on taxes would offset his loss of sponsor money derived from his public (and correct) and “insulting” point of view. We need more high profile types to unapologetically counter the California leftist perspective.
RE: As Michael Jordan once famously stated as an explanation for his apolitical stance, Republicans buy sneakers, too.
With that statement, he just outed himself as a Democrat.
No one is mentioning Mitt Romney who has a house in La Jolla, but I’m sure is a resident of New Hampshire.
We can hope enough high earners move out of CA to negate the 13% tax rate. When they go from 10% of something to 13% of nothing it is a big hit.
"Keep" should be used very carefully in this case. Many (maybe even all of those with income taxes) states tax temporary work. If you fly to New York for a couple of days no one will notice. On the other hand you can bet that there are people in state tax offices who track which days athletes worked in their state to make sure the taxes are paid.
I find it interesting, people all over the country begging for California money to move to their states...
Ya can't blame them for trying..
Good point. In fact, Tiger Woods is about to win about 7 figures in La Jolla today, and I’m guessing it won’t go unnoticed by a bean counter in Sacramento.
It is nice the government allows him to keep 37 cents of every dollar he earns.
He should become Russian - on 13% tax rate there.
It is nice the government allows him to keep 37 cents of every dollar he earns.
He should become Russian - only 13% tax rate there. They get to keep 87% and everyone pays.
“It is nice the government allows him to keep 37 cents of every dollar he earns.”
Another way to put it: He doesn’t start to keep his money during any given year until August 19.
OTOH, (and a surprising error for the WSJ) the article OVERSTATES the impact of state taxation, because it does not account for the deductability of state and local taxes off the federal return.
That's why all the blue state senators don't wantr to see that change as part of a tax-reform package
..and didn’t CA just lose a $500 million business to Seattle—the hole just gets deeper...
Phil’s mistake is that he should have just made the move and skipped the explanation.
I agree. Just shut up and move. Tiger woods did that a long time ago.
Speaking as a low wage earner non athlete. If you live in a state income tax state and work in another for two days a week, you will be taxed in both states. I might add capriciously. One state may think you should be taxed on you entire earnings during the time you are in that state, not just what you earned while in that state during the week. There is very little appeal.
Phil recanted nothing. He merely said he regretted stating his opinion out loud.
I was listening to a Sports Radio station here in Washington State (which is a no income tax state also) and the DJ was ripping Phil Mickelson a brand new one because he said it was “unbecoming” of an athlete to whine about money when they are making so much. The DJ said “rule #1” a sports agent would tell their clients is to not talk about money. I think I agree with that sentiment a little bit but I think this brain dead leftist DJ was missing the bigger argument. It isn’t HOW MUCH he makes but HOW MUCH was being confiscated.
I was PISSED that this obviously leftist Sports Radio guy wanted to rip into Mickelson about discussing what NEEDS to be out in the open which is the confiscatory rates these athletes are subject to. I don’t think this DJ likes Mickelson in the first place but it made it painfully obvious to me what we are up against.
Class warfare plain and simple. It is not allowable for for someone that wants to keep what they earn to talk about the method in which their earnings are confiscated. But is is OK to talk about how evil these rich people are in how they should give up more of their earnings.
I’m sure the “low information” people listening to this radio show were probably cheering the DJ on...”YAH, that guy still has more money that I’ll make in a lifetime”. This DJ was only perpetuating the problem IMNSHO.
Every day that Phil shows up at the course, he golfs the first 11 holes to pay the government. He doesn’t start earning a dime until he tees off at the 12th hole!
I've heard this story before, and I don't necessarily care that Michael Jordan is a Democrat (though I don't understand why), or that he "outed" himself. Jordan, as far as I know, doesn't stick his politics in everyone's face, a la, the "Hollywood Elite." He's taking a business-savvy stance, which is apolitical, which is fine and as it should be.
It's greed that drives them.
Phil should have stated his reasons. California needs to know why.
Still, Florida ain’t California. My brother lived in LA for 15 years and told me “There’s a reason people pay so much in taxes to live in California. It’s worth it”.
This is mostly true, about Mickelson being a good guy on the Tour.
I don't think that this is necessarily a question of "cajones" however, it's a question of ties. Mickelson has built quite a life for himself, and has family, and undoubtedly many friends in California. I suspect he would have no problem picking up and moving his own family, but such a move impacts his entire social circle. It affects his children's schooling, their friendships and activities, as well as his wife and him personally.
I know moving is sometimes a part of life, and many good things can come from it. But this issue is escalating because his current state's government is out of control, and perhaps through no fault of his own, his family may be faced with few choices. Perhaps he's "firing a shot across the bow" of the CA state legislature, and trying to subtly influence them.
Unfortunately, I bet they are bringing their LIBERALISM to the states they are moving to!!
RE: My brother lived in LA for 15 years and told me Theres a reason people pay so much in taxes to live in California. Its worth it.
1) Where did your brother move to after 15 years?
2) Did he explain to you what’s worth all the taxes to live in California?
RE: Unfortunately, I bet they are bringing their LIBERALISM to the states they are moving to!!
I am puzzled as to why liberals who move to other states (conservative ones) INFECT those states with liberalism.
Why don’t the conservative states ever “infect” (for want of a better word) the liberals who move in?
I have heard that, when we finally leave here, I will bring a Conservative viewpoint.
He left LA to sponge off my mother after my father died.
He didn’t pay his taxes. He’s a liberal. But he also didn’t make that much.
California is eat up with people who will not leave California no matter how much their taxes go up. The ultra-rich will leave but find a way to come back without paying taxes. Florida is hot as hell except when it isn’t and you have to deal with hurricanes.
RE: Two things I garner from what you’re telling me:
1) Your brother isn’t the 1% so he doesn’t care if taxes go up on the wealthy. THAT is exactly what makes California a paradise to these people. All you need is enough people thinking this way and California will be on its way towards Europeanization.
2) What California has going for it is something no other state, no matter how prosperous they are, can ever compete with -— GREAT, MODERATE WEATHER.
This is something people will pay a premium for until the taxes become unbearable.
Is Phil bound contractually to the state of California? If not, he owes no one an explanation why he moves out of state or where he moves to.