Feature:Video

Tiger Woods: I left California over tax rates too [VIDEO]

Photo of David Martosko
David Martosko
Executive Editor

During a press conference Tuesday, golf legend Tiger Woods said he moved to Florida in 1996 because of California’s high tax rates. The comments came after fellow golfer Phil Mickelson hinted Sunday that he might leave the Golden State — or perhaps even move out of the U.S. completely — because of income tax increases.

“I moved out of here back in ’96 for that reason,” Woods told reporters at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif. (RELATED: Pro golfer Phil Mickelson may leave US in response to state, federal income tax hikes)

“I enjoy Florida, but also I understand what he was, I think, trying to say,” Woods added, referring to Mickelson.

Mickelson said in a statement Monday night that he regretted talking publicly about the possibility of moving away from the United States.

“Finances and taxes are a personal matter, and I should not have made my opinions on them public,” he said. “I apologize to those I have upset or insulted, and assure you I intend to not let it happen again.”

On Sunday Michelson said he would soon “have to make some drastic changes” to his residency situation in response to tax rates enacted by the administrations of President Barack Obama and California Gov. Jerry Brown. (RELATED: Millions flee California because of progressive tax system)
“I’m not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes,” Mickelson told reporters during that press conference.
Mickelson has collected $73 million in career earnings, according to Forbes magazine. His endorsements total $40 million per year.

In September, Woods became the first golfer to eclipse $100 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour. But including prize money earned outside the United States and hundreds of millions more in endorsements deals, Golf Digest estimates that he has raked in at least $1.23 billion since turning pro.

Follow David on Twitter