from Michael Traikos at the Toronto Sun,
According to sports tax guru Robert Raiola, even if Stamkos is paid $10 million per year he would actually take home less annually by playing in Toronto ($4.3 million after taxes and agent fees) than he would in Tampa Bay for only $8.5 million ($4.6 million).
“In order for Stamkos to go to Canada, they would have to pay him a lot more money than what he would have gotten to stay in Tampa Bay,” said Raiola, a senior manager at O’Connor Davies LLP, who has professional sports clients throughout the country. “Do I think it factors into free agency? Absolutely. I think in any sport where you have a cap, the teams that don’t have a state tax have a huge advantage.”
It does not get any easier if Stamkos were to sign in Montreal, where the combined statutory marginal income tax rate is 53.31%, or Winnipeg (50.4%), Calgary or Edmonton (48%) or Vancouver (47.7%). In fact, Ontario and Quebec have a higher tax rate than any state in the U.S., while Manitoba, Alberta and B.C. also rank among the top 10 of states/provinces with an NHL team.
It is just one of the many reasons Canadian teams not only have a harder time attracting top-end free agents, but also signing them at market value.