Tiger Woods: I Left CA Because of Taxes … in '96

Tiger Woods: I Left CA Because of Taxes … in '96

On Tuesday, Tiger Woods said he moved from California to Florida in 1996 to avoid the state’s high taxes. 

Woods was at Torrey Pines preparing for this weekend’s PGA tournament near La Jolla, California when reporters asked if he would respond to Phil Mickelson’s comments on Sunday that California’s high tax rate would force Mickelson to either move out of the state or make “drastic changes” to his career. Woods said:

“I moved out of here back in ’96 for that reason. I enjoy Florida but it was also…I understand what he was I think trying to say. I think he’ll probably explain it better in a little bit more detail.”

Woods was raised in Cypress, California, which is in Orange County. He grew up playing and learning golf on a public golf course–Dad Miller Golf Course. He also attended Stanford University in Northern California and was an Orange County resident before making the move in 1996 to Florida. Florida has no state income tax.

California does have a state income tax. And after California voters passed proposition 30 last November, those making over $1 million now have to pay a 13.3% state income tax rate. Woods and Mickelson rank first and second, respectively, in career earnings on the golf course.  Woods has earned over $100 million while Mickelson has made nearly $70 million. They have made more off the course in endorsements. 

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