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Golf Pro Apologizes for California Tax Comments

He hinted that he could leave the state over higher taxes


Golf pro Phil Mickelson is backing away from comments he made about California’s controversial Proprosition 30 over the weekend at the Humana Challenge.

Mickelson said on Sunday that November’s passage of the new law, which increases state income taxes on wealthy Californians, might force him to leave the state. On Monday, he released a statement apologizing for the comments, saying his opinions on taxes and finances should have remained a personal matter, the New York Daily News noted.

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Under Proposition 30, state income taxes on high-earning Californians jumped to 13.3%, a 29.13% increase. Prior to the proposition’s passage, the tax was the highest in the U.S.  Mickelson said on Sunday the tax hike, coupled with increased federal income taxes, would mean he’ll end up paying 63% of his income in taxes.

More than 3.4 million people have moved out of California since 2000. Mickelson is one of just a few PGA Tour top-earners who continue to live there. Many pro golfers, including Tiger Woods, live in Florida, which doesn’t have a state income tax.

Mickelson is reported to have earned more than $60 million in 2012, including $57 million in endorsements.

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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