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Mickelson To Discuss ‘Drastic Changes’ Over Taxes

Golf star Phil Mickelson may shed more light today on the "drastic changes'' he plans to make because of increased state and federal taxes.

Mickelson is scheduled to hold a news conference at the Torrey Pines Golf Club, one day before the start of the Farmers Insurance Open.

A San Diego native who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, Mickelson said Sunday after completing play in the Humana Challenge in La Quinta that "there are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and, you know, it doesn't work for me right now.''

Mickelson declined to provide specifics, saying "I'll probably be a little more open to it because San Diego is ....where I live, where the Padre thing was a possibility and it's where my family is.''

"It just seems like a better fit than right here off 18,'' Mickelson said.

Including federal taxes, Mickelson said "62, 63 percent'' of his income was going to the government. He cited financial issues as part of the reason he did not join the San Diego Padres' new ownership group.

Under Proposition 30, approved by voters in November, the marginal tax rate for the top bracket -- individuals earning more than $500,000 or more or couples filing jointly earning more than $1 million, went from 9.3 percent to 12.3 percent.

Taxable income over $1 million is subject to an additional 1 percent tax for mental health programs.

Mickelson and other high earners are also affected by the increase in the highest marginal federal tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent with the end of the Bush-era tax cuts.

Mickelson issued a statement Monday, saying "finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public. I apologize to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend not to let it happen again.''

The 42-year-old Mickelson is second on the PGA Tour's earnings list at more than $67 million, trailing only Tiger Woods, who has earned more than $100 million.

Woods, in his pre-tournament news conference Tuesday, said high taxes were the reason he moved from California, where he was born, raised and attended college, to Florida, which has no state income tax, in 1996, the year he turned pro.

"I enjoy Florida, but also I understand what he was, I think, trying to say,'' Woods said of Mickelson. "I think he'll probably explain it better and in a little more detail.''

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