We all hate taxes, right? But how many of us actually consider those taxes when deciding on where to take a job? For New York NFL players, it’s a serious part of the decision-making process, as two All-Pro players just proved.
If you consider yourself much of an American football fan, you likely know that the new year in football terms began on Wednesday. And that means previous contracts may have ended, and new ones have started for a number of players.
This year that includes two of the Buffalo Bill’s star safeties, Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde.
With both of their previous contracts ending, both had the opportunity to look elsewhere within the league, other teams, and other states to continue their NFL careers. And for Poyer, he very nearly decided to leave the Bills – and all because of the amount he was taxed every year.
According to a podcast aired last month, Poyer was tired of “half” of his paycheck being taken by the state of New York. Now, of course, a literal “half” of his salary wasn’t being taken. Naturally, he’s exaggerating a bit. But as anyone who has ever lived in New York and experienced their heavier than most income taxes, it’s no joke.
As Poyer said, “I would love to go to a state that doesn’t take half my money. It’s crazy to me how taxes work.”
He then added, “Some people will say, ‘You’re already making X amount of money.’” But, apparently, that doesn’t mean that taxes still don’t “play a big part in all of our lives.”
He explained that he had just finished a two-year contract with the Bills when he was paid $19.5 million. Yes, that’s an outrageous amount of income for most of us. However, as you know, taxes are paid on percentages, and that means larger amounts are taken for the larger whole.
And since New York requires the highest income taxes in the nation, Poyer paid out $450,500 in taxes during those two years. New York also has a stipulation requiring an additional 10.3 percent to be paid on anything over $5 million.
So yeah, what Poyer pays in income taxes, etc., is a heaping amount (pretty much $1 million) – more than most of us could make in a decade.
He was so tired of it, in fact, that he said he was very seriously considering taking his skills to another state, one where no income tax might exist. There are currently five states that offer that luxury for a combination of 8 NFL teams: three in Florida, two in Texas, one in Washington, one in Tennessee, and one in Nevada.
And as Poyer noted, nearly all but Nashville and Seattle also offer significantly warmer weather than what is found in Buffalo, New York. He said it would be nice to “see the sun” everyone in a while.
Lucky for Buffalo, they have a pretty good thing going regarding talent on the team and chances of making it to a Super Bowl. And so Poyer has decided to re-up his contract with the state.
And as he mentioned on his Twitter account, co-safety Micah Hyde is apparently doing the same.
Poyer tagged Hyde in a tweet that simply read “Hey bud,” with some emojis. Hyde responded in kind with emojis, a laughing one and a handshake one, but then added “#NYtaxesAreStillTrash.”
While the two obviously have some issues with New York’s tax laws, they apparently are willing to stick it out a while longer in hopes that their team will do well in the coming year.
But this should be a warning to the state as well as other high-income tax states like California that the skill of their sports teams may soon be lacking due to those higher-than-average rates. And if the economy continues its downward dive, even well-paid athletes won’t be able to afford those rates.
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