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Tiger Woods Dishes on What Made Him Leave O.C.

Golf superstar Tiger Woods explains his decision to move to Florida as his career began to take off in the 90s. Phil Mickelson ponders a similar move.

Tiger Woods, an Orange County native who played at Seal Beach's Navy Golf Course as a youth, told a crowd on Tuesday that he moved out of California to escape the state's high taxes.

Speaking Tuesday at the Torrey Pines Golf Club, Woods sympathized with colleague Phil Mickelson, who recently landed in hot water for his critique of the state's newly passed tax law. Woods told the crowd 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.

On Wednesday, Mickelson plans to discuss the issue that landed him in hot water, following his pro-am round at Torrey Pines. The San Diego native apologized Monday, saying he regretted airing his opinion.

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.

The first round of the Farmers Insurance Open is set for Thursday, with Woods and Mickelson leading the field.

Do you think the tax rate is fair? Do you sympathize with people in higher tax brackets who are thinking of moving to greener pastures?

—City News Service

Frieda Wales January 24, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Sorry, just a typical Californian who says if you don't love it, please feel free to leave. I'm staying.
Shawna January 25, 2013 at 09:09 AM
And PCM, how do you pay your bills? Or, is my husband, who works nearly 12 hours a day, and loses nearly half of his income to taxes paying for you to be a Pacific Coast Mama? Because if he is not paying for you I can guarantee he is paying for a few of your neighbors. Just curious where all the love it or leave it mentallity comes from.
Frieda Wales January 25, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Good morning Shawna, we pay our bills like most others, with earned income that is taxed. However, we realize that there are great benefits to having good roads, great police & fire departments, good schools, libraries... and be in beautiful southern CA. My husband and I were both raised here and we really wouldn't want to live anywhere else. We believe in good social programs that can help uplift others as well. There is a lot of opportunity in CA. Those that prefer living somewhere else should really explore it. There are enough true CA supporters to keep the state going. Hope this helps.
Frieda Wales January 25, 2013 at 02:55 PM
P.S. it appears that my neighbors are employed as far as I can tell by their busy schedules.
Mostwatchedgirl January 26, 2013 at 08:40 AM
Blinded by tax payer pensions. Gar. An. Teed.

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