Mickelson hits back at tax laws

Lefty to make ‘drastic changes’ due to new Californian ruling on $1million earners


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Mickelson with his family at 2005 PGA

After finishing in lacklustre tie for 37th at the Humana Challenge, Phil Mickelson revealed he is set to make ‘drastic changes’ after the state of California passed Proposition 30 in November 2012.

While it remains unclear as to what exactly these changes entail, the four-time major champion says he is planning to discuss his situation in further detail at this week’s Farmers Insurance Open in his hometown of San Diego.

“I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do yet,” said Mickelson, who according to Forbes Magazine last year was the seventh highest-paid athlete raking in $47.8million in earnings, including $43million in endorsements.

“I’m not going to jump the gun, but there’s going to be some drastic changes for me, because I happen to be in that tax zone that has been targeted federally and by the state. It doesn’t work for me right now, so I’m going to have to make some changes.”

Mickelson, who turns 43 in June, was also asked about the semi-retirement of Steve Stricker and if he would consider a similar plan.

“You know, I think that we’re all going to have our own way of handling things, handling time in our career, our family, handling what’s going on the last couple of months politically,” he added. “I think we’re all going to have to find things that work for us.”

Proposition 30, which has promised to raise more than $8 billion for California schools and colleges, significantly impacts (13.3% tax rate) those who have a taxable income of more than $1 million.

Mickelson said it has been an interesting off-season after he announced that he would no longer be involved with the group that purchased the San Diego Padres. Asked if that decision was related to these ‘drastic changes’, Mickelson replied: “Yes, absolutely.”

“I’ll probably go into it more next week,” he added, “but 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 is at 62 to 63%. So I’ve got to make some decisions on what I’m going to do.”

Since making his comments at the weekend, Mickelson has since come out and apologised: “Finances and taxes are a personal matter, and I should not have made my opinions on them public. I apologise to those I have upset or insulted, and assure you I intend to not let it happen again.”

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As one golf writer noted, the press criticise Woods for not speaking his mind, and then create a news frenzy when Mickelson does. You can understand why sports stars would play safe and keep it anodyne.

Posted: 23/01/2013 at 13:02

Nice problem to have.

I feel for Phil, because he made those comments coming off the 72nd hole in a tournament where he really dragged himself around to make a decent score. Lucky for him, he's fairly popular in the US and does a massive amount for charity. Speaking of which, my 'Phil's Blue Hat' was brought back to the UK by my cousin Steve this week Lefty Till I Die!

Posted: 23/01/2013 at 14:12

You were Bubba last week, MW

Posted: 23/01/2013 at 14:35

Bubba off the tee, Phil around the greens

Posted: 23/01/2013 at 15:21


Posted: 23/01/2013 at 15:40


Posted: 23/01/2013 at 16:53


How many putts do you typically take in a round of golf?