Phillies' Wages Earn City Millions in Revenue

Players pay millions in city wage taxes

By Vince Lattanzio
|  Monday, Apr 1, 2013  |  Updated 4:27 PM EDT
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The Philadelphia Phillies can fund entire Philadelphia city departments with the wage taxes they pay.

The team’s 2013 top player payroll will surpass $166 million and that equates to millions in revenue for the city’s coffers. According to compensation data available for 19 members of the Phillies roster, the players could pay at least $5.8 million in city wage taxes this year.

That amount can fund the Mayor’s Office and its 35 staffers for an entire year. The Mayor’s Office has an operating budget of $5.4 million, according to the city’s 2013 budget. That leaves $400,000 extra to be used somewhere else.

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The $5.8 million wage tax revenue could also put 95 police officers on the streets of Philadelphia. The average pay of a Philadelphia Police officer is $61,300, according to city employee compensation data obtained by

Philadelphia has two rates for calculating city wage taxes. Those living in the city pay 3.92-percent. Those who work in the city but live elsewhere pay 3.49-percent. The latter percentage was used in our calculations since it’s unclear where every player resides. Players are not required to pay wage tax during away games and training. If deducted, they can file for a refund at the end of the year.

Pitcher Cliff Lee pays the most in city wage taxes. The left-handed starter will earn $25 million this season and at least $874,000 of that will be paid out to Philadelphia. Lee’s wage taxes can cover nearly all of the City Treasurer’s $886,000 budget for the 2013 fiscal year.

Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Ryan Howard will each pay about $700,000 in city wage taxes this year. That’s just about enough to cover the city’s $2.3 million obligation to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The median household income in Philadelphia is $36,957, according to the most recent U.S. Census data. At that income level, residents would pay $1,400 in city wage taxes.

Based on that median income, the Phillies roster pays enough in wage tax to equal what 4,500 residents would pay.

Here’s a breakdown of the player’s wages and the wage taxes they should pay:

 Cliff Lee  $25,000,000  $874,625
 Cole Hamels  $20,500,000  $717,193
 Roy Halladay  $20,000,000  $699,700
 Ryan Howard  $20,000,000  $699,700
 Michael Young  $18,374,975  $642,849
 Chase Utley  $15,285,714  $534,771
 Jonathan Papelbon  $13,000,000  $454,805
 Jimmy Rollins  $11,000,000  $384,835
 Mike Adams  $5,000,000  $174,925
 Carlos Ruiz  $5,000,000  $174,925
 Kyle Kendrick  $4,500,000  $157,433
 John Lannan  $2,500,000  $87,463
 Antonio Bastardo  $1,400,000  $48,979
 Laynce Nix  $1,350,000  $47,230
 Chad Durbin  $850,000  $29,737
 Kevin Frandsen  $850,000  $29,737
 Delmon Young  $750,000  $26,239
 John Mayberry, Jr.


 Ben Revere  $515,000  $18,017
 TOTAL  $166,392,689  $5,821,248


Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

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