American Dream

Celebrate Golfers’ Day With Lower Taxes: States With the Best of Both

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Mid-April is a time to celebrate: It marks both the start of golf season, one of the most relaxing events of the year, and the end of tax season, one of the most frustrating. Think about your income tax bill. Wouldn’t it have been great to put that money toward your golf game instead?

If you live in the right state, you can turn this dream into a reality. So in honor of this year’s Golfers’ Day, we’ve rated the top places to live for both golf and taxes.

Best States for Golf and Income Taxes

Several U.S. states combine generous tax benefits with the best golf in the country. Let’s start with Florida and Nevada. Both are excellent choices, and they offer amazing golf weather nearly every day of the year—perfect for tackling the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach or Shadow Creek over in Las Vegas. Even better, neither state charges income tax, leaving more money for your favorite hobby.

Arizona is another solid choice, with its wide variety of courses such as Troon North in Scottsdale and Forest Highlands in Flagstaff. While this state does charge income tax, the tax rate is relatively low (2.54 percent for the lowest bracket and 4.54 percent at the highest). Arizona also doesn’t tax Social Security payments, so it’s a good place for retirees. But if you’re not crazy about the heat and want to experience more nature, you might want to try Wyoming. This state doesn’t charge a cent in income taxes, and it offers some of the most scenic golf courses in the country, such as the beautiful Powder Horn Golf Club.

Following the Pros

If you move because state income taxes are weighing down your swing, you definitely wouldn’t be the first. Some of the biggest names from the PGA Tour moved across the country because of taxes. At the start of his career, Tiger Woods left California for Florida. And Phil Mickelson made headlines a couple years ago when he expressed his frustration with California’s tax rates and announced the same plan. California has one of the highest income tax rates in the country: a maximum rate of 13.3 percent for those who earn more than $1 million.

Paying for Golf With Your Tax Savings

While your tax savings probably won’t be on the same level as Woods or Mickelson, moving to a low-income tax state could still work out to be a great deal. Let’s say your adjusted gross income after deductions is $150,000, and you live in California. This puts you in the 9.3 percent marginal tax bracket, and you’d owe $13,950 in state income taxes every year. If you moved to Florida or Nevada, you wouldn’t owe a dollar in state income taxes.

In Miami, you could play a round of golf for about $50 to $400, depending on the course. If you average that cost down to $200 a round, you could pay for a round every weekend from your income tax savings and still have thousands of dollars left over.

Why pay more in taxes than you have to? By moving to one of these states, you can enjoy world-class golf and a stress-free tax situation. Now that’s a way to celebrate Golfers’ Day in style.