Former St. Louis Cardinal Jim Edmonds is California Leaving, No Longer Dreaming

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Last week, it was reported that retired St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jim Edmonds has put his Irvine, California, estate up for sale. The current Fox Sports Midwest broadcaster’s custom-built 10,000-square-foot home, located in the Shady Canyon golf course community, hit the market with an asking price of $6.95 million and comes complete with a custom wine cellar, home theater, pool, gym, and a number of other features that make this a dream home.

Upon reading about the amenities and viewing pictures of the estate, it’s easy for one to ask why anyone would ever want to sell this magnificent home. The answer, however, is simple: California’s tax rates.

As a broadcaster covering baseball teams in the Midwest, including his former St. Louis Cardinals, it makes more sense and increases his after-tax earning potential to reside in Missouri with a top marginal income tax rate of 6 percent, rather than the Golden State which taxes top-earning residents at a rate of 13.3 percent. If Edmonds earns $2 million in base salary as a broadcaster, his state income tax liability is $146,000 less in the Show Me State. That’s a grand slam in savings.

If that’s not enough to convince Edmonds, perhaps he could be swayed by the fact that he could own an even nicer house in Missouri with significantly reduced property taxes. California’s property tax collections per capita are roughly $500 higher than Missouri’s.

And the sooner “Jimmy Baseball” can sell his estate, the better – because California requires former residents to continue paying its state income tax until they have been outside of the state for 546 consecutive days, or roughly a year and a half.

This fact is not lost on former Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols, who kept his home residence in St. Louis after signing with the Los Angeles Angels. Even though he pays California taxes on his earnings for each home game, in addition to “jock taxes” on away games, his other sources of income will be taxed at 6 percent as long as he is a resident of Missouri.

With current and former professional athletes, such as Edmonds and Pujols, becoming more cognizant of increasing and decreasing tax rates – especially income tax rates – it is no wonder that they are choosing to remain in states and cities in which they no longer play. With few athletes having a professional career after they retire from the sport, it is crucial that they maximize their after-tax earning potential to the fullest. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this feat is to reside in a state with lower or no income tax.