HoopsHype California rumors
If he claims California as his primary residence and stays with the Lakers, Howard will gross $118 million off a five-year max contract, but will net only $59.6 million, according to Robert Raiola, a certified public accountant with FMRTL in Cranford, N.J., whose clients include athletes. That's because California has the highest state income tax in the U.S. Any person who is single -- Howard is not married -- earning more than $1 million in the state pays a top rate tax of 13.3 percent. ESPN.com
Howard could get only a four-year max deal by going somewhere else and would make $1.7 million less per season, but could still come out on top if he signs with the Houston Rockets or Dallas Mavericks and makes his home in Texas, a state that has no income tax. Over a four-year period, Howard would gross $94.4 million off a contract with the Lakers and $87.6 million from a contract with an NBA team in Texas, but Raiola says the difference in the state income tax between California and Texas would result in Howard netting $2.6 million more from a Texas-based team. That's even including jock taxes, which are the taxes Howard would have to pay states when he plays on the road. "If Dwight signs with the Lakers, it would be ideal if he could play in California but not be a resident in the state," Raiola said. ESPN.com
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