The Packers’ crappy season last year can be attributable to a number of factors – poor tackling, slow linebackers, bad blocking, etc. But do taxes play a role in keeping good talent away from Wisconsin?
In Andrew Brandt’s “Busine$$ of Football” column, he says yes – and specifically calls out Wisconsin for its high tax burden:
The states without income tax, I felt, always had an advantage in recruiting free agent players. Teams in Florida, Tennessee and Texas used the fact that their states had no income tax to show players how much more they would take home than teams in high income tax states (like Wisconsin). In some cases, agents actually showed me data from other teams showing how much more the player would make over the life of the same contract in one of those states. In recruiting players for Green Bay, I would always hear from agents how much more a player would make from, say, the Buccaneers or Texans compared to the 6.6-percent state income tax that Wisconsin would take from Packer players. That and, of course, the weather.
From what I remember, in their early days, both the NBA’s Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors had a difficult time attracting free agent talent due to the burdensome Canadian tax load. (And the fact that a player could die waiting in the emergency room to get a sprained ankle looked at.) It makes sense that agents have gotten so sophisticated that they can now dice the numbers up on a state-by-state basis.
So even if you’re not tuned in politically, oppose Jim Doyle’s tax increases to save the Packers.