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Archive for the ‘Yankees’ Category

As a Yankees fan, it was particularly exciting that Derek Jeter became only the second player to get his 3000th hit with a home run.

As a student of human nature, it was remarkable that the fan who caught the ball, Christian Lopez, returned it to Jeter instead of selling it for as much as $300,000.

As a libertarian, it is disgusting that the jackboots at the IRS have now gotten involved by threatening to tax Mr. Lopez because the Yankees repaid his generosity with luxury box seat s and signed memorabilia. Here are some of the details from NBC New York.

The tax man may be on the hunt for the super fan who caught Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit. Christian Lopez, 23, recovered the prized ball his father fumbled after The Captain hammered it into their section of the stands in the third inning of the Yankees’ win over Tampa Bay on Saturday. The Verizon salesman from Highland Mills, N.Y., gave the ball back to Jeter, whom he called an “icon,” and the Yankees lavished a slew of prizes, including luxury box seats for every remaining home game this season and post-season and some signed memorabilia.  Now the IRS wants a piece. The prizes Lopez received are estimated to be worth more than $32,000 — and, like game show contestants, Lopez may have to pay taxes on the gifts and prizes because the IRS considers them income. Some estimate the IRS will put Lopez on the hook for anywhere between $5,000 and $13,000, reports the Daily News.

The only thing missing from this story is whether the thugs at the IRS also plan to tax Jeter for the value of the ball. Actually, I probably shouldn’t have mentioned that idea. But, then again, it’s highly unlikely that IRS bureaucrats are reading a blog dedicated to liberty.

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At the airport waiting for a flight to DC. A few concluding observations about the New Hampshire Liberty Forum.

1. The Free State Project is a cool idea. If you’re not tied to a particular state and you don’t need hot weather, why not move to New Hampshire and help the fight for liberty? These folks already have four people in the state legislature, including one elected as a Democrat. At the very least, there’s a good network of friends who value liberty. And as you might expect, lots of interesting characters. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many openly armed folks in my life.

2. Judge Napolitano gives a good speech. I’m not a lawyer, but I like everything he said – especially the story about the Yankees beating the Mets in a pivotal game last year when Castillo dropped A-Rod’s pop fly to second base and turned the final out into the play that let the Yankees win.

3. I despise government more than ever. Not because of the conference, but because I was given a bottle of real maple syrup as my honorarium for speaking. But I wasn’t willing to pay $25 to check my bag, so I went through TSA security hoping rationality would prevail. Not surprisingly, that wasn’t the case.

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A sportswriter at NBA.com explains how higher tax rates will make it even more attractive for professional athletes to sign with teams from zero-income tax states such as Florida and Texas. This is good news if you cheer for the Miami Dolphins or Texas Rangners. But if you support teams from high-tax states, you should be very upset that greedy politicians are making it more likely that your favorite franchise will be at a competitive disadvantage:

With increasing taxes geared to the wealthy and the Bush tax cuts also coming off the books, it may be that the low tax states like Florida and Texas begin to have a big advantage over higher tax states when it comes to NBA free agents. …Could, in the end, the biggest barrier to the Bulls attracting a major free agent next summer like Dwyane Wade be the health care legislation now being debated in Washington? …The answer is taxes. The closest anyone seems to a plan now to pay for the changes is to tax the so-called rich. That would include just about every player in the NBA. I know we’re not supposed to feel sorry for rich people and assume they have so much that giving up more doesn’t matter. It does, just as comfortable people in the middle class with two cars and a nice health club membership don’t want to pay more taxes, either, even though they can afford to. So I contacted a tax expert in Chicago, Noel Wilner, president of CBIZ MHM, an accounting and tax advisory company, and asked him to do some calculations. The assumption was single tax payer, the 2011 tax rates when the presumed five percent health care surtax would go into effect with the higher rates that year, salaries of $5.5 million, which is about the NBA average, and $17 million, which would be a high earner like Wade and no deductions. …The total tax for a $5,500,000 salary and an Illinois resident is $2,568,412. This is made up of $2,142,412 of federal income tax, $261,000 of health care tax and $165,000 of Illinois tax. A Florida resident will have the same federal and health care tax but no state income tax ($165,000). The total tax for a salary of $17,000,000 will be $8,088,412. That is made up of $6,696,412 of federal income tax, $882,000 of health care tax and $510,000 of Illinois tax. A Florida resident will have all the same tax except no state tax ($510,000). In addition, Wilner notes, there is typically an allocation to other states where the games are actually played. But there should be at least a savings of 50% of the state tax for being a Florida resident as 50% of the games are home games. I know almost $9 million after taxes is a lot of money. But with the government adding on another half million dollars penalty to pay for health care and who knows how much more down the road as the rich seem to be set up as the villains in this health care debate, suddenly hanging onto more than $500,000 in state tax may sound appealing. So perhaps someone like Wade sees he can resign with his own team for an extra year under NBA rules and then get that much more in tax benefit, and maybe the money starts becoming too big to decide to leave? With increasing taxes geared to the wealthy and the Bush tax cuts also coming off the books, it may be that the low tax states like Florida and Texas begin to have a big advantage over higher tax states. And then seemingly making it even less appealing to go to a ridiculously high tax state like New York.

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