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Escape California: Tax Bills Could Be $2.3 Million Less for Kings' Players in Seattle

Escape California: Tax Bills Could Be $2.3 Million Less for Kings' Players in Seattle


Sacramento Kings players could save around $2.3 million in State Income taxes if the teams move to Seattle goes through – but former NBA great and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is fighting to keep the players in the Capitol of the high tax state of California. Breitbart Sports previously provided a grid of the state tax rate paid by NBA players for every team, and on the criticism of Lefty Mickelson for talking about moving out of the high-tax California like Tiger Woods had done previously.

While other factors would impact players actual tax burden, most of the Sacramento Kings $44 million in salary would be in the highest tax bracket. However, because high income earners like basketball players pay state taxes proportionally based on where games are played, a player would typically distribute his reportable income by the state in which the games were played. By moving half of their income – or over $22 million for the 41 home games – from the 10.6 percent California rate to the 0.0 percent Washington State rate, players, players would pay about $2.3 million less in taxes annually.

The issue came up when LeBron James made the “decision” to take a lower paycheck to go from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat, but critics charged he would actually net more money going from Ohio to Florida tax rates.

However, Johnson, a four-time All-NBA player who scored more than 13,000 points, represents the city where California politicians come to raise taxes and spend money. Johnson has been able to pull together an ownership group and come up with a plan for a new arena. His efforts have been commendable, but they took a hit recently when the Seattle group voluntarily raised the purchase price of the franchise.

Johnson has said that Sacramento is “playing to win,” and he is mounting a significant effort to keep the team. The fate of the franchise could be decided at next week’s NBA Governor’s meeting although the issue has been complex and could take more time.

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