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Mickelson will make 'drastic changes' due to new California law

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LA QUINTA, Calif. – After his final round Sunday at the Humana Challenge, Phil Mickelson said that he will need to make “drastic changes” after the state of California passed Proposition 30 last November.

It is unclear what exactly that entails – retiring from the game or moving to a different state are plausible options – but Mickelson said he is planning to discuss his situation in greater detail at next week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, in his hometown of San Diego. 

“I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do yet,” said Mickelson, who tied for 37th at PGA West. “I’m not going to jump the gun, but there’s going to be some drastic changes for me, because I happen to be in that (tax) zone that has been targeted federally and by the state. It doesn’t work for me right now, so I’m going to have to make some changes.”

On a conference call last Monday, Mickelson, who turns 43 in June, was asked about the semi-retirement of Steve Stricker and if he would consider a similar plan.

“You know, I think that we’re all going to have our own way of handling things, handling time in our career, our family, handling what’s going on the last couple of months politically,” he said on the call. “I think we’re all going to have to find things that work for us.” 

Prop 30, which has promised to raise more than $8 billion for California schools and colleges, significantly impacts (13.3 percent tax rate) those who have a taxable income of more than $1 million.

According to Forbes magazine, Mickelson was the seventh highest-paid athlete last year, raking in $47.8 million in earnings, including $43 million in endorsements.

Mickelson said it has been an “interesting offseason” after he announced that he would no longer be involved with the group that purchased the San Diego Padres.

Asked if that decision was related to these “drastic changes,” Mickelson replied, “Yeah, absolutely.”

“I’ll probably go into it more next week,” he added, “but if you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate is at 62 to 63 percent. So I’ve got to make some decisions on what I’m going to do.”

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