LeBronomics: Could High Taxes Influence James' Team Decision?

While sports reporters have sought agents and teammates for the inside scoop on where NBA superstar free agent LeBron James will sign, there's another person who may know The King's next move: his accountant.

In a July 1 blog post, the New York Post warned that "dysfunctional lawmakers in Albany" could cost the state a chance to bring the coveted athlete to New York.

"If LeBron James goes to the Miami Heat instead of the [New York] Knicks, blame our dysfunctional lawmakers in Albany, who have saddled top-earning New Yorkers with the highest state and city income taxes in the nation, soon to be 12.85 percent on top of the IRS bite," the Post said.

The tax savings for James in Miami over New York City would be staggering, according to the Post's analysis.

"On a five-year contract worth $96 million -- what he'd get from the Knicks or the Heat -- LeBron would pay $12.34 million in New York taxes." Florida has no state income tax.

New Jersey and Ohio, the other reported frontrunners to attract James, also have state income taxes, but they are not as his as in New York. Based on a $96 million contract, James would pay $5.69 million in state taxes if he re-signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. If he signed with the New Jersey Nets, James would pay $10.32 million in state taxes.

The New York Post isn't the only media outlet using "LeBronomics." In her July 8 EconWatch post, CBSNews.com's Jill Schlesinger dubbed yesterday's market rally "The LeBron James rally."

Robert Schoenberger and Teresa Dixon Murray of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer estimated thatdowntown Cleveland businesses will lose $48 million over the course of the NBA season without James.

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