Editorial: High vs. no state income taxes

Do high taxes affect people?

Consider this, NBA center DeAndre Jordan became a free agent this summer and instead of re-signing with the Los Angeles Clippers, he negotiated a deal with the Dallas Mavericks.

Jordan loved playing with former Sooner Blake Griffin on a team called “Lob City.” Several things attracted Jordan back to his home state (he played college ball at Texas A&M) and Maverick Owner Mark Cuban put up a whale of a sales job.

(After making a verbal agreement with Dallas, Jordan was wooed by Clippers’ players and management and re-signed with Los Angeles).

Consider this. Under the collective bargain agreement of the NBA with the players, the Clippers offered Jordan a five-year contract for $110,000,000.00. That’s $22,000,000.00 a year.

The Mavericks were contractually constrained and offered Jordan $80,000,000.00 in a four-year contract.

And he almost took it.

Likewise, NBA All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trailblazers signed a free-agent contract with the San Antonio Spurs for four years for $80,000,000.00 and rejected a possible Portland offer for $110,000,000.00.

Why would this NBA stars take less money in shorter contracts?

Here’s a big reason – Texas has no state income tax.

Oregon has a top bracket of 9.9 percent on state income taxes while California has a whopping 13.3 percent state income tax rate. Aldridge and Jordan are rich enough to find tax loopholes but getting a 10-13 percent tax break makes it a lot easier to go home.

There’s the lesson for Oklahoma. Texas, Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming and Florida have no state income tax and that is very appealing to high-income businessmen and professionals.

It might be nice if Oklahoma joined that group when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook become free agents or if some big corporation with highly paid executives wanted to move here.