LA JOLLA, CA -- Tiger Woods, speaking Tuesday at the Torrey Pines Golf Club, sympathized with colleague Phil Mickelson, saying he moved out of California in 1996 because of high taxes.
“Well, I moved out of here back in ‘96 for that reason,” Woods said in response to a question from a reporter in advance of the Farmers Insurance Open. “I enjoy Florida, but also I understand what he was, I think, trying to say. I think he’ll probably explain it better and in a little more detail.”
Woods has bagged more than $100 million in prize money during his career, according to Forbes magazine.
Mickelson, who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, said he might move out of California to avoid Proposition 30 state income tax increases on people earning more than $250,000 a year. Individuals earning $500,000 or more, or couples filing jointly and declaring income of more than $1 million, will pay 3 percent more than before.
Including federal taxes, Mickelson said “62, 63 percent” of his income was going to the government. He cited financial issues as part of the reason he did not join the Padres’ new ownership group.
Florida, as Woods's statement pointed out, has much lower taxes than is westcoast counterpart in sunshine and beaches. It's one of the few states in America without an income tax.
Woods isn't the only celebrity who's decided to put down roots in Florida either. The Tampa Bay area alone is home to such notables as Derek Jeter, Hulk Hogan, John Cena and a host of Buccaneers, Rays and Lightning players, among others.
Whether they came here for the sunshine or tax breaks might not be entirely clear, but the fact of the matter is they're not alone. Census projections estimate that Florida's population is on the rise and the state may soon pass New York in numbers.
Celebrities aren't the only ones who appreciate Florida's low taxes.
"So Cal born and raised, we moved here ten years ago not only for the taxes, but overall, everything was and still is less expensive. While property taxes are significantly higher here, there is no comparison between state income tax, sales tax, automotive taxes, license taxes, not to mention all types of insurance, groceries, housing. You name it, toll roads, launch ramps, everything is cheaper here," wrote Westchase Patch Facebook fan Mike Acheson.
Tim Swartos agrees.
"Living in FL is cheap compared to states I've lived in SD, ID and WI," he wrote on Facebook. "Taxes, gas, utility rates, etc...if more people realized it the place would be packed."
So, Westchase, do you agree with Tiger Woods? Are Florida's taxes one of the reasons that brought you to the area or helped you decide to stay? Share why you love the Westchase area in the comments section.