The affiliate KOCO, which broadcasts on Channel 5, posted on their website that “With NBA free agency in full swing, many players are looking for the next town to call home. According to a new study, Oklahoma City may not be as attractive as some other NBA cities.”
The report noted that ATR’s study showed athletes in Oklahoma City have to play 2.2 games just to pay their state taxes. ATR notes that California players must work 5.5 days to pay off their California state taxes, but even the ATR report does not detail the impact the four California teams have on the taxes of every other player in the league.
Each year and every NBA team plays an away game in every other NBA arena, plus an additional away game at the home of all four teams in their division and eight of 10 of the other teams in their conference.
When a player plays in a state with a higher tax rate than his own, his taxes are increased by the difference as he pays that tax rate and then deducts the rate of his home state’s tax rate. The math is a little more complicated as states try to capture any day “worked” in the state, which may entail the day a team arrives the day before a game is played, etc., but basically a player would pay the tax rate of another state for 1/82nd of his check for every game played in a higher tax state than his own.
So Dwyane Wade and LeBron James only play four games a year in California, at the arenas of the four California teams. Therefore those four games leave them with about an additional 0.645% to pay on their income to the state of California (4 games at 13.3% divided by 82 total games played). If the Kings had moved to Washington, that would have lowered the tax for Wade and James to 0.49 percent because it would entail only three trips.
The Phoenix Suns players pay twice as much in California state tax – 1.30% – because as the only non-California team in the Pacific Division they play the four state teams on their court twice a year each for eight extra games. Those players are able to back that tax out of the 4.5% rate in Arizona for those eight games so they are never paying Arizona AND California taxes the same game.
|Team||Breitbart Jan. 2013||ATR July 2013||Games||State|
|Atlanta Hawks||6.0%||6%||2.5 games||Georgia|
|Boston Celtics||5.3%||5.25%||2.2 games||Massachusetts|
|Brooklyn Nets||9.0%||8.82%||3.6 games||New York|
|Charlotte Bobcats||7.8%||5.75%||2.4 games||North Carolina|
|Chicago Bulls||3.0%||5%||2.1 games||Illinois|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||5.9%||7.93%||3.3 games||Ohio|
|Dallas Mavericks||0.0%||0%||0 games||Texas|
|Denver Nuggets||4.6%||4.63% +||1.9 games||Colorado|
|Detroit Pistons||4.4%||5.50%||2.3 games||Michigan|
|Golden State Warriors||10.6%||13.30%||5.5 games||California|
|Houston Rockets||0.0%||0%||0 games||Texas|
|Indiana Pacers||3.4%||3.40%||1.4 games||Indiana|
|L.A. Clippers||10.6%||13.30%||5.5 games||California|
|L.A. Lakers||10.6%||13.30%||5.5 games||California|
|Memphis Grizzlies||6.0%||0%||0 games||Tennessee|
|Miami Heat||0.0%||0%||0 games||Florida|
|Milwaukee Bucks||7.8%||7.75%||3.2 games||Wisconsin|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||7.9%||9.85%||4 games||Minnesota|
|New Orleans Hornets||6.0%||6%||2.5 games||Louisiana|
|New York Knicks||9.0%||8.82%||3.6 games||New York|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||5.5%||5.25%||2.2 games||Oklahoma|
|Orlando Magic||0.0%||0%||0 games||Florida|
|Philadelphia 76ers||3.1%||7.05%||2.9 games||Pennsylvania|
|Phoenix Suns||4.5%||4.54%||1.8 games||Arizona|
|Portland Trail Blazers||11.0%||10.53%||4.3 games||Oregon|
|Sacramento Kings||10.6%||13.30%||5.5 games||California|
|San Antonio Spurs||0.0%||0%||0 games||Texas|
|Toronto Raptors||13.2%||NA||5.5 games||Canada|
|Utah Jazz||5.0%||5%||2.1 games||Utah|
|Washington Wizards||8.5%||8.95%||3.7 games||District of Columbia|