In a move made popular by so many retirees tired of the rat race, Rutgers University football coach Greg Schiano is fleeing the Garden State for the palm trees and sandy beaches of Florida. Schiano is not heading south to live out his days playing shuffleboard and poaching the early-bird specials, however. To the contrary, he just accepted a 5-year contract to coach the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Schiano leaves New Jersey as the State’s highest paid public employee, with an annual salary approaching $2,400,000. Now, Schiano’s salary with the Bucs is yet to be disclosed, but even if it doesn’t represent a raise from his annual Rutgers wage, Schiano stands to put an additional $175,000 a year in his pocket each year. How can I know this?
Tax rates, of course.
Schiano is leaving New Jersey, a state with a top personal tax rate of 8.97%, for Florida, which has no personal income tax. So assuming Schiano was raking in a total of $3,000,000 per year at Rutgers[i] and continues to do so as coach of Tampa Bay, by shifting his domicile to Florida, he stands to save $173,307 per year in state income tax.[ii]
Clearly, the Buccaneers have some attractive assets — most notably, a young, highly regarded QB Josh Freeman, a talented defensive line rotation and a dynamic wide-out Mike Williams — that would appeal to any coach. But from Schiano’s perspective, saving 8.97% a year in taxes may be the sweetest plum of all.
[i] Given the high price he could command for running camps, speaking engagements, etc… additional income of $600,000 per year is probably a reasonable estimate
[ii] after accounting for the federal benefit for the state taxes paid to New Jersey.