Phil Mickelson Talks Taxes, 'Fair Share' at Farmers Insurance Open

The pro golfer recently talked about making "drastic changes" based on new tax laws then apologized to those he offended

By R. Stickney
|  Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013  |  Updated 3:01 PM PDT
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When asked about his comments on taxes, Phil Mickelson talks about how he's never had a problem paying his fair share before.

When asked about his comments on taxes, Phil Mickelson talks about how he's never had a problem paying his fair share before.

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San Diego native Phil Mickelson says he has never had a problem paying his fair share but waffled on whether he would stay in the state and city he loves based on new tax laws.

The pro golfer arrived almost an hour late to a scheduled news conference at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines because he said he needed to collect his thoughts.

The event was highly anticipated after Mickelson had recently suggested "drastic changes" were in store for him and his family due to changes in federal and state taxes.

In November, California voters approved Proposition 30, the first statewide tax increase since 2004.

On Sunday, the California resident said the new tax laws would tap into more than 60 percent of his income and had prompted him to consider leaving the state.

Several days later, after a media firestorm, the 42-year-old called the comments a stupid mistake.

"I’ve made some dumb, dumb mistakes and obviously talking about this stuff is one of them," he said.

After explaining how he had never had a problem paying taxes before, he was asked what had changed.

Mickelson paused then said, "I’ve never had a problem paying my fair share, I don’t know what that is right now but I don’t have a problem paying my fair share.”

Pro golfer Tiger Woods echoes Mickelson's comments

State lawmakers were split in their response to Mickelson's comments with Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare telling the San Jose Mercury News, "You know, it's sad. And I think it'll be the first of many."

On the other side of the aisle, State Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, called Mickelson "the exception rather than the rule."

Mickelson issued an apology Monday and promised to discuss the matter more Wednesday.

He reiterated that apology saying he should never have spoken about the issue in public.

“I shouldn’t take advantage of the forum I have as a pro golfer to try and ignite change over these issues,” he said.

He also said, "It was insensitive to talk about publicly to those people who are not able to find a job, who are struggling from paycheck to paycheck, who are struggling."

When the Rancho Santa Fe resident was asked directly if he was going to leave the community because of the financial cost of living here, he said “I’m not sure what we’re going to do yet.”

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