Former Nationals slugger Bryce Harper left town for the Philadelphia Phillies. Why anyone would want to live in Philly is beyond me. But when you consider that the teams who were ready to pay Harper the big bucks were either in California or Philly, then maybe Harper’s move makes sense.
The Phillies will pay Harper $330 million over 13 years—the most expensive contract in Major League Baseball history—and Harper will net approximately $184 million after paying his due in federal, state, and local taxes, according to an analysis by Robert Raiola, director of the Sports and Entertainment Group, which helps athletes and celebrities with tax planning.
That’s a huge tax bill, but it’s smaller than what Harper would have owed had he signed with one of the two top bidders for him during this year’s free agent signing period. The San Francisco Giants reportedly offered Harper a 12-year contract worth $310 million—a higher annual salary than what the Phillies offered—but Harper would have netted only $161 million from that deal because of California’s higher taxes. In order to offer Harper as much in take-home pay as the Phillies did, San Francisco would have had to pay $340 million over 10 years.
The article also mentions that a similar scenario played out when another DC pro sports player left the Nation’s Capital-
In 2014, one reason Trevor Ariza left the National Basketball Association’s Washington Wizards to sign with the Houston Rockets was because he “could pocket more money because the state doesn’t tax income,” The Washington Post reported at the time.
So Democrats in their state house can not only kill jobs and harm workers, but they can also directly hurt the chances for their professional sports teams to attract the best talent to win championships.
Living in Virginia I root for all the DC teams. The cost of living in the Commonwealth is less than in the Maryland suburbs, so plenty of DC sports players live here. The Nationals couldn’t afford to keep Harper, who batted a dismal .249 last season, but hopefully NBA superstar Kevin Durant will find a nice home in Loudoun County this off-season so he can suit up for the Wiz.