Boxer Manny Pacquiao has shocked the world of sports with the announcement that he will no longer fight in Las Vegas — or any U.S. city, for that matter — because federal taxes have become too burdensome.
Obviously, this means he won’t be fighting Juan Manuel Marquez in September at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as originally planned.
“But while promoter Bob Arum wanted it to happen, Pacquiao is now calling it a ‘no go’ due to the 39.6 tax hit he would take from the federal government [emphasis added],” the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard notes.
The Grover Norquist-founded Americans for Tax Reform weighed in on the Pacquiao exodus.
“Pacquiao’s concerns lie with the federal income tax. As Nevada is one of the nine states that do not have an income tax, Las Vegas has grown to become the home for major bouts because fighters do not have to worry about the state taking a bite out of their winnings or purse,” they told Bedard.
“Unfortunately, Nevada’s economic benefit is now overshadowed by the federal income tax rate,” the group added.
Arum, as Yahoo! Sport notes, believes Pacquiao would earn $10 million less fighting in the U.S.
“[F]or boxers who stand to earn over $1 million per fight through winnings, pay-per-view revenue shares, fight bonuses, and other forms of taxable income, they will be taxed at the top marginal income tax rate of 39.6 percent,” ATR adds.
“Pacquiao, boxing’s second biggest PPV draw, understandably views boxing in America under this tax rate to be a bad business decision.”
With the announcement that he will no longer fight on U.S. soil, Pacquiao has become the latest professional athlete to speak out against the country’s tax burden.
You may recall that professional golfer Phil Mickelson in January caused an uproar after he said that he would make “drastic changes” because of federal and California state tax increases.
“It’s been an interesting offseason,” Mickelson said. “And I’m going to have to make some drastic changes. I’m not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes.”
After people freaked out over his tax comments, he later apologized.
“Finances and taxes are a personal matter, and I should not have made my opinions on them public,” Mickelson said in a statement. “I apologize to those I have upset or insulted, and assure you I intend not to let it happen again.”
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