Phil Mickelson, the popular professional golfer, recently hinted that he is considering moving from his native California. He said the new federal tax rate and California’s Proposition 30 (which increases taxes on people who earn more than $250,000) contribute to taxes that total more than 60 percent of his income.
However, Mickelson is not getting much sympathy from fans or television commentators. He’s earned just under $70 million in PGA tour winnings, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. His “real” income is from endorsements, which netted him $40 million in 2012, alone. He was also part of the ownership group of the San Diego Padres, but he recently ended that relationship. And, his golf course designing business is doing very well in China.
In 1996, fellow competitor Tiger Woods moved to Florida mainly because the state has no taxes. Other golfers (as well as corporations) have moved to Texas for the same reason. In fact, after Mickelson made his comment, Texas governor Rick Perry sent this tweet: “Hey Phil…. Texas is home to liberty and low taxes…we would love to have you as well!!”
Mickelson’s response seems to be summed up in a statement that he made to Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press: “Right now, I’m like many Americans who are trying to understand the new tax laws. I’ve been learning a lot over the last few months and talking with people who are trying to help me make intelligent and informed decisions. I certainly don’t have a definitive plan at this time, but like everyone else I want to make decisions that are best for my future and my family.”...