Lebron and State Taxes
By David Henderson
I was going to write on the tax advantage to LeBron James in going to income-tax-free Florida until I started to research it and see that, earlier today, Aaron Merchak at the Tax Foundation beat me to it. He did a nice job, but he left out a huge factor that’s more important than what he covered.
What he got right is that LeBron would get a tax break “only” for half his 82 games. State tax authorities more and more are catching high-paid athletes and even consultants in their tax webs. Play an away game at Madison Square Garden and you’re screwed by the New York state and New York city tax authorities. They’ll tax you on 1/82 of your salary.
What Merchak got omitted is the huge income-tax advantage on LeBron’s non-athlete earnings. He could claim those as income he made in Florida and I would bet that those earnings are a multiple of his pay from whatever team hires him.
A related story: A friend of mine who’s a friend of Rush Limbaugh told me that when Rush dropped his daily TV show, which was very successful, and moved from NYC to Florida, his loss in income from the lucrative TV show was less than his gain in after-tax income from moving to Florida.