Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Sports Illustrated: Athletes Paid $216.8 Million in California Income Taxes in '12, by Michael McCann (New Hampshire) & Robert Raiola (O'Connor Davies, New York):
According to data obtained by SI.com from the California Franchise Tax Board, California collected a staggering $216.8 million in income taxes from professional athletes in 2012, the most recent year available. This included state income taxes paid by athletes who work, and in some cases reside, in California. They also included so-called “jock taxes” imposed on out-of-state professional athletes whose teams visit to play games in California.
Here is the breakdown by sport:
The $216.8 million collected by California from athletes in 2012 was up from the $171.4 million in 2011. The increase was mainly attributable to a rise in California’s highest marginal rate from 10.3 percent in 2011 to 13.3 percent in 2012, a change which gave California the highest income tax rate in the United States. It also reflected sustained efforts by California officials to track athletes who generate income in the state and make sure they pay their taxes.
California is able to raise substantial taxes from athletes who play and live in the state despite the fact that some could choose to play and live elsewhere. The decision of which team to play for obviously involves numerous factors, including salary, projected playing time and proximity to family, but state income taxes are normally viewed as a key factor. Much to the relief of California’s tax collectors, the state’s heavy income tax burden hasn’t stopped teams from signing stars.