Tony Romo is the NFL's Highest-Paid Player After Taxes, Grover Norquist's New Poster Child for Tax Reform

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With the mammoth six-year, $108 million deal he signed last week, Tony Romo became the most richly rewarded player in Cowboys history. That put him fifth on the list of current NFL players, ahead of Eli Manning and Tom Brady but well behind Ravens QB Joe Flacco's $20.1 million per year.

Those numbers are a little misleading, at least according to Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform. The group has seized upon Romo's deal to bolster its anti-tax message, arguing that, after taxes, Romo's salary actually tops that of Flacco, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and every other player in the league.

The main reason? Texas has no state income tax. AFP makes its case:

With Romo's income tax burden being 39.6 percent - the top marginal federal income tax rate in the U.S. - and estimated tax liability of $7.12 million, he still stands to earn $752,000 more than Brees.

Romo should serve as an example of why businesses and taxpayers are making the move to Texas. Under Gov. Rick Perry, Texas has continued to thrive and experience economic growth throughout the recession because of its low tax rates and economic competitiveness. While a handful of GOP governors are seeking to eliminate or lower their states' incomes tax rates, such as Gov. Jindal and Gov. Brownback, more players will want to play in states where they will not feel the greatest tax sting. Some teams might even seek to relocate to one of these states.

That last part is a stretch. A state's personal income tax plays an exceedingly minor role in the economics of professional sports, which is one of many reasons you won't see the Lakers fleeing to Brownback's Kansas. But AFP's broader point, that we should all feel sorry for Joe Flacco, is harder to argue. The man has to fork over 5.75 percent of his six-year, $120.6 million contract to the state of Maryland. How will he ever get by?


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24 comments
ZapSB
ZapSB

Whats with the stupid jab at the end about Joe Flacco not missing his 5.75%?  Why are you assuming that Maryland has some inherent right to his money as if he didn't earn it?  One man, the owner of the Ravens, and another man, Joe Flacco, made a contract agreement for work and money that they both agreed to and it has absolutely nothing to do with anybody else.  So once again, why the unprofessional "fair share" style jab at the end of your article?

director21
director21

The bigger point here is the proof that Jerry has lost what remained of his addled brain. Why in the world would anybody pay Romo $108 Mil when he is probably the sorriest excuse for a pro QB to ever wear a professional uniform? Romo is like Danny White - he wins a lot of games and racks up a lot of personal stats, but when the rubber meets the road he folds like a cheap suit, which is why we have never come close to advancing toward a Super Bowl, or even a League Championship game, under his "leadership."

This is proof that Jerry has FAR too much money. He could have spent a lot less and hired some high school QB who could play better than Romo!

Samlawrence
Samlawrence

I think it's a good choice, but I hope they are prepared for what is coming. There are good elements out and gaps spaces to  filled. Good for him.

Colton Lance
Colton Lance

Oh FFS it's been 10 years... Please give it up, Jerry

Rex Curry
Rex Curry

Thank you for posting the important news of the day.

David Ristuccia
David Ristuccia

Nothing's to good for the man that brings us 8-8 every year. Hopefully...

Greg Robinson
Greg Robinson

This article is very misleading. He pays taxes in every state he plays that has a state income tax, though the lion's share of his salary is made in Texas. In Texas he'll also pay more sales tax on every purchase because they're alternatives for state funding.

Samantha Garrison
Samantha Garrison

You can unlike the page or remove their posts from your News Feed if you don't want to see them........

Paul Grubbs
Paul Grubbs

His paycheck would look real nice next to his Super Bowl ring. Or even a NFC Championship ring. Or a playoff win check. JJ should pay some offensive lineman to help out with that.

Judy Roberts
Judy Roberts

Please remove me from your posting list.

cynicaloldbastard
cynicaloldbastard

" Under Gov. Rick Perry, Texas has continued to thrive and experience economic growth throughout the recession because of its low tax rates.."

And everyone in the media continues to ignore the revised Texas Margin Tax that Rick Perry signed into law that was the largest tax increase on small and medium size business in the history of the State of Texas.

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

Romo certainly doesn't have to worry about a playoff tax.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

While its true he pays less than others weve learned over the years, that really doesnt matter to players.  Anyhow, he is still paying state income taxes for the 8 games he plays in other states, and shit, what he saves in income taxes he probably pays to a tax attorney to file all of his other state tax returns

itchyjack
itchyjack

@director21 Yep - Romo seems to be afflicted with the Heisman curse, without ever coming close to winning it; and White - why is that guy even discussed, now or ever?  As for Jerry - meh - everyone knows he's awful.  Everyone except for those who suckle at his teet and whomever the Mayor of Arlington is; well, generally the same thing.

greg.robinson83
greg.robinson83

@ScottsMerkin And he pays state sales taxes on everything he buys here. The 2 taxes are alternatives and you end up paying taxes either way. I think this article is disingenuous at best. Consider that the source is Grover Norquist's lobbying group, the man behind the GOP anti-tax pledge.

NotTheSuburbs
NotTheSuburbs

Texas also has the highest property tax rate in the country.

Guesty
Guesty

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @ScottsMerkin "Besides their is pretty much a 1:1 reduction in FIT for state income levies."

This isn't true.  There is a deduction available from the taxable income, but that only translates into about a 39% credit against federal income taxes.  In other words, state income taxes increase total tax liability by about 60% of the amount of the state income tax.  

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