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Monday, January 21, 2013 3:40 PM


Golf star Phil Mickelson may bolt California over taxes; Time to Send Taxifornia a Message


Golf star Phil Mickelson has had enough of California taxes. He totaled up Federal and California state taxes and came up with 62%.

What about sales taxes? Regardless, he has finally had enough of Taxifornia.

Fox News reports Teed off: Golf star Phil Mickelson may bolt California over taxes

For golf legend Phil Mickelson, the low 60s makes for a great score on the links — and a lousy tax rate in his home state of California.

Mickelson said “drastic changes” are ahead for him due to federal and California state tax increases that have pushed his tax rate to what he figures adds up to “62, 63 percent.” The left-hander will talk more about his plans — possibly moving out of California or even retiring altogether — before his hometown Farmers Insurance Open, the San Diego-area event that begins Thursday at Torrey Pines.

Mickelson, who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, is unsure exactly what he’ll do, but changes will come, he said. If he bolts California, the San Diego native could be the Golden State's answer to actor Gerard Depardieu, who renounced his French citizenship and moved to Russia after the French government tried to jack up taxes on the rich.

“There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and, you know, it doesn't work for me right now,” he said. “So I'm going to have to make some changes."

California voters in November approved Proposition 30, which, in addition to raising the state sales tax, carries a menu of new tax brackets that hit millionaires like Mickelson hard. For income exceeding $1 million, the state rate jumped to 13.3 percent from 10.3 percent. For Mickelson, who earned roughly $60 million in 2012, that would be a tax increase of more than $1.8 million.

"If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent," Mickelson said. "So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do."

Mickelson, according to Sports Illustrated, was the second-highest earning athlete of 2012, second only to boxing’s Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Mickelson, who was also second on the list in 2011, earned $3.7 million in winnings and $57 million in endorsements last year — for a staggering total of $60,763,488.

Details of Mickelson’s several endorsement deals — including partnerships with Callaway, Barclays and Rolex to name a few — are unknown, and his real estate holdings and other business ventures are not included in the Sports Illustrated tally.
Curious Time to Leave

If indeed Mickelson is pondering retirement, it's a somewhat curious time to leave. His income will drop, and so will taxes. Proposition 13 ensures his California property will not be taxed at a high rate.

He should have been "teed off" long ago.

Of course he may have meant retire from the tour as opposed to "retire". It's possible he would be hired as a top commentator for a news network, or that he has other business ventures in mind.

Still, how likely is income from other ventures to approach $60 million?

Time to Send a Message

Perhaps Proposition 30 was simply the final straw.

However, regardless of what he earns, I do hope he leaves Taxifornia. The more millionaires that leave the better, because it's certainly time to send a message.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

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