Chris Dudley, the artful tax dodger

Only Duds knows for sure what he really earned from '93 to '97, or how much he avoided paying in taxes, and guess what, he ain’t talkin'.

By J. Graber of Portland, Oregon. He is a former journalist and a graduate student in strategic communications at the University of Oregon, Portland campus.

"Keep your eye on the pea ladies and gentleman! Around and around it goes, where it stops … we may never know."

Make no mistake about it, would-be governor Chris Dudley is playing a game here, but instead of the elusive pea usually used by con men, he’s playing hide and seek with the truth. And, unfortunately, this is a high stakes game with Oregon’s future he’s asking us to wager.

When backed into a corner with no other way out, Dudley finally admitted he avoided paying Oregon income tax by living in Camas, Wash. while playing for the Trailblazers between 1993 and 1997. What we don’t know is, how much the millionaire athlete who claims to love Oregon so much kept out of state coffers with his little maneuver while our roads were aging and schools were beginning to ask students to share textbooks because there aren’t enough to go around.

“It’s quite common to shuffle around and ask other buildings to send over text books if they have extras,” Brookwood Elementary teacher Diane Brown said in a press conference Friday. And the whole delicate system freezes up if too many students should actually have to take a textbook home.

We don’t even really know for sure how much he did pay. Duds’ campaign first said he paid $460,000 in taxes for those years, but now claims that number is actually closer to $440,000.

So which number is it Duds? I mean it should be down in black and white, right? Was there a smudge on someone’s glasses the first time they read the numbers?

We do know from public records requests that he earned about $12.19 million in salary as a Trailblazer between 93 and 97, but he didn’t even pay Oregon taxes on all of that.

If you or I were to work for an Oregon business and live in Washington, we would pay Oregon taxes on all of our salary. Not so for NBA players though, who only pay Oregon taxes on games and practice days played in Oregon.

That’s how Duds got away with paying less than 4 percent in taxes in Oregon on his total salary … while the average Oregonian pays about 5.6 percent after deductions.

But that’s not even the whole picture.

It’s not much of a stretch to figure someone pulling down that kind of money also earned things like dividends, interest and capital gains.

Only Duds knows for sure what he really earned from '93 to '97, or how much he avoided paying in taxes, and guess what, he ain’t talkin'.

Statistics suggest the average person in Duds’ income bracket would have earned about another $4.7 million from '93 to '97 … not to mention any do-re-mi he may have got from endorsement deals.

Duds wants to portray himself as a victim here, claiming he was mindlessly doing whatever his financial advisor suggested.

“I was, oh 26, 27 years old – my accountant said, ‘You would save some dollars if you lived over here, and by the way, you’re twenty minutes from the arena and you’re living on a lake.’ So I did it,” he said during a gubernatorial debate aired by KGW back in April.

This doesn’t hold water for two reasons though.

First, at least 24 of Duds’ Trailblazer teammates seemed to care enough about Oregon to live here. Are you telling me guys like Clyde Drexler and Buck Williams didn’t have accountants suggesting similar tricks? Unlike Duds, they just didn’t listen.

And second, Duds isn’t exactly some simpleton who can’t understand the tax codes. He got a double major in political science and economics from Yale.

Yes, that’s “economics” and “Yale”.

In fact, he’s worked as an economic adviser himself since leaving the NBA. Kind of makes you wonder how many people he suggested getting out of paying Oregon taxes by living in Washington, doesn’t it?

But he really does care about Oregon, right? HHHMMM …

Oh, and as for where the disappearing pea is, check up his sleeve.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Not to split hairs with you, but I don't think the practice days are taxable. (The OAR gives specifics on how professional athletes are taxed...) You say 93 to 97. I have doubts, based on info in the public domain, about how he filed after that. There is no record of him voting prior to 04 and he retired in 03. Just because he bought a home in LO does not mean he would have filed as a resident. I have zero knowledge of his tax situation...I have just commented based on what others have posted and what I have gathered in the public domain. But I agree, he can and should share his tax returns to put this to rest.

    • (Show?)

      If Obama doesn't have to release his college transcripts or anything else to show where he was and what he did why should Dudley feel the need to open up his financial records from 17 years ago

      • (Show?)

        Because Obama didn't make millions of dollars when he was in college.

        Duh!

      • (Show?)

        Yeah, because President Obama was busy in college becoming a crypto-islamasist.

        So of course no need to bring up what by Dudley's own words was living in Camas so he could avoid paying some Oregon taxes.

        • (Show?)

          Or was it Communist Islamofascist?

          • (Show?)

            We don't know which name to call him, that's why it would be nice to have him release something about himself. All we know for sure is that he must have been the poster child for affirmative action because from all outward appearances he clearly doesn't have the candle power to get into Harvard Law School any other way. Of course they are still looking for people who actually remember him both from Columbia and from Harvard. ...The things that make you go hmmmh?

            • (Show?)

              Racist bilge.

              Funny, the right-wing racists have NEVER complained about incompetent white people getting jobs and spots in college programs because of policies, explicit or implicit, that favor whites.

            • (Show?)

              If by "they" you mean Faux News, I get it. In the photo of the Harvard Law Review, you'll also see one of our local Assistant Federal Defenders, who went to law school with the President.

            • (Show?)

              "All we know for sure is that he must have been the poster child for affirmative action"

              Why is Clarence Thomas being dragged into this discussion?

            • (Show?)

              As opposed to Dudley, who got into Yale on his own...

              ...wait, his father AND grandfather went to Yale? Where have I heard this one before?

              Wouldn't it be nice sometime if we elected public officials who worked a couple jobs to pay their way through state school, came out of grad school with $20k in debt and knew anything about the ways most of us live our lives?

              Or even guys like Senator Merkley or Steve Novick who came from humble backgrounds and worked their tails off to end up with Ivy-laden diplomas?

              What happened to Republicans' hatred of "elitists?"

            • (Show?)

              Well you can solve your problem by safely relying on formal protocol and simply refer to him as President Obama or Mr. President.

              BTW, are you seriously suggesting that the former editor of Harvard Law Review didn't have the intellectual acumen to have been in said position, and that is based on what evidence exactly?

            • (Show?)

              You're a BIRTHER!?!

              Forget it. Somebody tries to show you superstitious zealots facts and you cover your eyes to ensure you see no facts that can disturb your bizarre beliefs.

      • (Show?)

        When do we get to see Sarah Palin's college transcripts?

  • (Show?)

    Also, what about property taxes he didn't pay to Oregon? He owned his house in Camas. Those are Washington schools and roads that got that money, not Oregon.

    And I have yet to see anything that proves he's helped anyone with their portfolios other than a brief stint of counseling NBA players. He calls himself a "Wealth Strategist" yet the SEC doesn't list any of his duties or what his role was/is at Filigree. It goes into some detail on his two partners. Also, the CFP board lists him as not practicing. I have been saying this for a while now: he's a "biography" as far as this Wealth "Strategist" stuff goes. Possibly crafted in order to use his celebrity to get business for his firm and now donors for his party and his campaign. He's a hand-shaker.

    • (Show?)

      So right, Sonya, and the Dudley platform misaligns with the ORP platform...which raises the question, "Who rolled in this Trojan RINO?"

      There is a much better choice, the only true (pro-life) Conservative in Greg Kord. (http://gregkord.com)

      Mr. Kord is of/by/for the people and as you get to know him, you will learn of his Oregon-friendly mission to apply his motives and implement his methods after immediately calling for a Cabinet of subject matter experts to guide Oregon's incubation. The idea is for Oregon to become the model that other Sovereign states will want to emulate.

    • (Show?)

      So right, Sonya, and the Dudley platform misaligns with the ORP platform...which raises the question, Who rolled in this Trojan RINO?

      There is a much better choice, the only true (pro-life) Conservative in Greg Kord. (http://gregkord.com)

      Mr. Kord is of/by/for the people and as you get to know him, you will learn of his Oregon-friendly mission to apply his motives and implement his methods after immediately calling for a Cabinet of subject matter experts to guide Oregon's incubation. The idea is for Oregon to become the model that other Sovereign states will want to emulate.

    • (Show?)

      "Possibly crafted in order to use his celebrity to get business" ... Gee do you really think so? Darnit! There is no getting anything past you is there Sonya? Perhaps we should be asking ourselves what about our tax system and tax rates would cause a big wage earner like Dudley (and lots of others) to seek refuge from higher taxes over the river?

      I would rather elect a man for Governor who is both smart enough to come in out of the rain and also smart enough to live across the river if it is advantageous to do so. The problem with re-electing Kitzhaber and other tax and spend liberals is they aren't smart enough with our money to be entrusted with spending it anymore

      • (Show?)

        Shorter Robert: He cares mainly about himself, and that's a good thing.

      • (Show?)

        Robert, if we're going to go on superficial biographies only, who would you trust under pressure to make good decisions? A former ER physician? Or someone who can't pull off a free-throw?

        Or is that stethoscope in your photo just a prop?

        ;oP

  • (Show?)

    If you or I were to work for an Oregon business and live in Washington, we would pay Oregon taxes on all of our salary.

    Not if we were on the road on business half the year out of state. You might want to pull this post and try again. You're ranting, and you don't know enough about what you're talking about.

    • (Show?)

      We'd certainly be paying Oregon taxes on investment and endorsement deals.

      Odd that Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter (whose salaries were no doubt significantly higher) managed to live in Oregon just fine.

  • (Show?)

    The specifics of this issue matter to me less than the spirit of Dudley's decision, and how he justifies that decision. Given that he relied on his accountant then, who will help guide his decisions as governor now?

  • (Show?)

    That’s how Duds got away with paying less than 4 percent in taxes in Oregon on his total salary

    ...because his total salary from the Blazers is NOT SUBJECT TO OREGON TAXATION. He, and all professional athletes/entertainers, pay income tax in each tax jurisdiction for which they earn income. I think most states do this even if they don't have an income tax on their residents.

    Based on the Blazers current schedule, the following percentages of Dudley's income would be taxable to the following states:

    AZ 2.44% CA 8.54% CO 2.44% DC 1.22% FL 2.44% GA 1.22% IL 1.22% IN 1.22% LA 2.44% MA 1.22% MI 1.22% MN 2.44% NC 1.22% NJ 1.22% NY 1.22% OH 1.22% OK 2.44% ON 1.22% PA 1.22% TN 2.44% TX 6.10% UT 2.44% WI 1.22% OR 50.00%

    • (Show?)

      Fail.

      The NBA schedule clearly notes the HOME team and the VISITORS.

        • (Show?)

          I've noticed lots of Republicans cuss like a sailor when they realize how transparent and easily revealed their schemes have been exposed.

          Yeah... you can't claim residency for earnings in other cities when NBA makes clear to even a child the VISITORS team isn't staying around to plant roots.

          So how the Dudley campaign treating you, Mike?

    • (Show?)

      By the way, thank you for the clear demonstration of BS tax dodges you greedy right wingers are always trying to scheme up to avoid paying your fair share of tax liability.

      More irresponsible GOP crap to avoid carrying their weight.

      • (Show?)

        Having voted for Clinton, Kerry and Obama, I must say people like you are going to make it real easy to vote for Dudley this time.

        • (Show?)

          No, you didn't. This account is a couple of months old. You only have one post here that wasn't Dudley campaign talking points.

          You're likely a low level Dudley campaign volunteer who's voted straight ticket Republican his whole life who thinks he's far more clever than he actually is.

            • (Show?)

              People don't need proof. They just need faith. Right, Michael?

              (Looks like another paid low-level Republican online operative who think's he's clever, too. Maybe from one of the teabagger watering holes like freerepublic.com...)

          • (Show?)

            First off you tool, if you had been a regular here, you would know that we switched over to facebook authentication at the end of April, so ALL accounts are only a couple of months old.

            • (Show?)

              Gee, Mike... I'm on that first day facebook authentication comment thread.

              Oooops. Here comes the insults and cussing.

              Every other post you've put up here except that thread was Dudley campaign talking points. Not one single post since then supporting a single or Progressive or Democratic Party viewpoint since then.

              • (Show?)

                According to your recent comments list, this is the only tread you comment on. I guess that makes you a low level operative for the Dr. Do Over campaign. How much do they pay you? Btw, in the past several weeks I have the following # of comments on the following topics:

                7 Oregon Business Leaders Publish Report on Oregon's Business Climate 5 Reefer Madness-or the song remains the same 3 The Oregon Business Association (OBA) Embraces Father of Dangerous Budget Agenda 3 I cannot reconcile the Two Americas 3 The Media Continues to Swallow and Regurgitate the Big Corporate Lie About Measures 66 and 67 2 If I were King of Oregon 2 Venture Capital Continues to Say Oregon Has Good Business Climate 1 Hypothetical Hysteria 1 Spanning the State: I have a Nightmare edition 1 Merkley: Don't blame friends for acts of enemies 1 The Rich Do Very Well When the Middle Class is Helped by Tax Cuts

              • (Show?)

                BTW, don't even bother wasting your time responding. I will no longer feed you troll.

      • (Show?)

        excuse me adam smith but the only people still paying taxes are the top 50% of wage earners the people clearly not pulling their weight (or any weight...wait a minute they are at home gaining weight) are the other 50%

        • (Show?)

          Everyone in Oregon making over $19k is subject to the 9% income tax. Are you really saying that only 50% of Oregonians are making that much or more...?

        • (Show?)

          That's nothing but a bold faced lie.

          Other people around here have to say things in a more cordial tone.

          I'm disabled with a new Huntington Disease diagnosis. I don't have time for foolishness.

        • (Show?)

          Robert Summer tries to distract by pretend Federal Income tax is the only tax anyone pays. We all know there bunches and bunches of taxes other than Federal Income Tax, don't we? Federal Gas Tax, FICA, State Taxes, sales taxes elsewhere, cable tax, etc.

          Here's a link to reality from Ezra Klein at the WP and a John Stewart clip...

          http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/04/do_the_poor_really_pay_no_taxe.html

          Here's the real total tax liability numbers Income category - avg. income - total tax liability

          Lowest 20% - $ 12,000- 18.7% Second 20% - 24,500 - 22.3% Middle 20% - 40,000 - 27.0% Fourth 20% - 66,100 -- 30.0% Next 10% - 101,000 -- 31.5% Next 5% - 144,000 -- 32.2% Next 4% -- 253,000 -- 32.1% Top 1% - 1,445,000 -- 30.9%

          Here's the link to the PDF from the Citizens from Tax Justice I got those numbers from. It's a heck of a lot easier to read there, too

          http://www.ctj.org/pdf/taxday2009.pdf

  • (Show?)

    So who doesn't keep their tax records? Why can't Dudley show exactly what taxes he paid and to which state and municipalities? Or is there some money he owes along the way?? His accountant who seems to rule his life must keep copies of all those records.

    • (Show?)

      that was 17 years ago Bill How long are people obligated to keep old tax records?

      • (Show?)

        Another forgetful Republican.

        There must be some brain virus you Republicans keep passing back and forth to each other at Republican Conventions that keeps making you forget every bad thing you ever did.

      • (Show?)

        Yet you were busy trying to dredge up urban legends about President Obama's college transcripts from 31 years ago to try and change the subject.

        Guess we can add hypocrite to your CV.

  • (Show?)

    "If you or I were to work for an Oregon business and live in Washington, we would pay Oregon taxes on all of our salary. Not so for NBA players though, who only pay Oregon taxes on games and practice days played in Oregon."

    Exactly. This is how it works for all NBA players. Not just Chris Dudley. Why don't you attack Brandon Roy who has to pay income taxes the same way?

    That’s how Duds got away with paying less than 4 percent in taxes in Oregon on his total salary … while the average Oregonian pays about 5.6 percent after deductions.

    Again, he didn't get away with anything. All NBA players have to pay income tax based on the cities they play in. Moving to Camas didn't change this at all.

    • (Show?)

      Brandon Roy was born in Seattle, raised in Seattle, and graduated from college in Seattle at U of W.

      Brandon's parents live in Seattle. His fiancee lives in Seattle.

      Brandon Roy and Chris Dudley's residency situations cannot be compared.

      • (Show?)

        No, but their tax situation can be compared. Roy is paying the exact same way Dudley was - based on the city the games are in. Dudley didn't create the system - all NBA players are required to pay that way. Doesn't matter where they live. Portland, Seattle, or Camas.

        • (Show?)

          If Brandon Roy decides to run for Governor of Oregon, it will be appropriate to ask the question, then. But for now, he isn't. But Adam does have a point, Washington is Roy's long-term home. The same couldn't be said for Dudley.

          What we do know is that Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter and the others didn't move to Camas to dodge Oregon taxes while they were playing. Certainly Drexler and Porter were making likely significantly larger salaries than Dudley. Yet they gave enough of a damn about us to live HERE, not bug out to Washington.

        • (Show?)

          As Carla alludes, there's nothing illegal about living in Washington to avoid Oregon taxes.

          But that probably should mean Oregonians should look askance at a run for Governor of Oregon.

    • (Show?)

      Actually, he did. The average Oregonian pays roughly 6-7% AFTER standard deductions. They pay 9% before.

      Paying 3% is pretty low, even when you factor in 1/2 the salary. Further, the investment and endorsement money isn't even factored in yet. Moving to Camas absolutely changed that.

  • (Show?)

    Funny, only in a political campaign can a mid-20's young man, now richer than he probably ever dreamed of being, seeking advice of a professional be a bad thing.

    What's that I smell here....desperation!

    • (Show?)

      The only desperation on this thread was the desperate attempt on your to distract people from noticing the NBA clearly notes the Home and Away team on NBA schedules.

    • (Show?)

      If he's more loyal to his wallet than the state, nothing wrong with that at all. But pretty lame if you think it makes you qualified to be the Governor of the state in which you bailed.

    • (Show?)

      Seeking to avoid paying taxes in the state he then hopes to be CEO of, well yeah it is a bad thing.

      And the only desperation smelling up the joint around here are the apologists for tax dodging Dudley.

      Why was Dudley the only one of his teammates when he was a Blazer who moved out of state to avoid paying taxes?

  • (Show?)

    This is all so incredibly lame. If Chris Dudley didn't love Oregon he wouldn't have chosen to come here as a free agent to end end his career. And when he did, he moved to Lake Oswego and has lived there ever since.

    The amount of tax he saved early in his career--when he was here in between stops in Cleveland and New Jersey, and before he was traded (against his wishes) to New York--was a fraction of what hw would have paid had he lived in Oregon.

    I smell desparation among Oregon's True Blue political junkies.

    • (Show?)

      "If Chris Dudley didn't love Oregon he wouldn't have chosen to come here as a free agent to end end his career. And when he did, he moved to Lake Oswego and has lived there ever since."

      <hr/>

      Yes, after he gained approval from his accountant, and after his taxable income declined considerably, he did decide to actually live in Oregon. Oregon owes the grace of his presence this time apparently to Dudley's tax accountant and the decline of his basketball career.

    • (Show?)

      So true, Jack. I am enjoying watching the Democrats rearranging the deck chairs on their personal Titanic, all the while insisting how the coldness of the water is the Republicans fault.

      • (Show?)

        Ken, which party controlled both houses of Congress from 1995 - 2006? Which party controlled the White House from 2001 - 2008?

        Which party has chosen to make it a requirement to have 60 votes in order to pass ANYTHING in the Senate?

        Here's a hint: It's the party whose symbol is inappropriate, since they are the party that banks on people forgetting.

        • (Show?)

          Is this a quiz?

          OK. Q1. Republican Q2. Republican Q3. Democrat (For those with short memories reference the cabinet confirmations and Judge confirmations from 2001-2005, plus numerous pieces of legislation). Democrats invented this tactic, but like everything else, they now want to blame it on the Republicans. Just like D's would like people to forget that budgets originate in the House of Representatives, not the Presidency. (Look it up, it's in the Constitution).

          So despite your claim, evidence shows that the D's want people to forget history as well.

          Note to D's: Man up! You took control of Congress in 2007 and you own this economy. Bush's spending was bad, but you doubled and re-doubled it. You own it!

          We'll see what the voters think this November. Vox Populi, Vox Dei. If it is you, then I am wrong. But if it is me, you are. Deal?

          • (Show?)

            Actually, Ken, the Senate confirmed a higher rate of Bush's judicial nominations than it did Clinton's. Yes, they used the filibuster, but only in select cases, not for EVERYTHING -- that's unprecedented.

            The Senate sessions with the most filibusters have been the last two, when the G.O.P. has made that their main tactic.

          • (Show?)

            http://www.salon.com/news/politics/barack_obama/index.html?story=/news/feature/2010/09/06/us_obama_judges

    • (Show?)

      Jack,

      It looks like he chose to come back here because no other team offered him a contract.

  • (Show?)

    Please....... this board is attacking Dudley because he used Camas/The System to gain an personal advantage many years ago. I hope he can do that for Oregon.

    It's both highly legal and ethical

    Kitzhabers Bedparneter/Boardroom partners is being Investigated for illegal and unethical business dealing with Government State of Oregon contracts today!

    It'a like putting Dudly down for a at best a small issue, years ago and you look the other way when newspapers saying this week Government contrats/fraud could be involved.

    If you going to attack someone for a reason, attack some how really could have done something wrong.

    When Blue Oregon lives in their own glass eco-chamber they shouldn't throw rocks.

    • (Show?)

      You do not get to declare an action ethical.

      I say it's not ethical. Many others on the team were not doing it. That is highly suggestive it was poorly thought of Blazers front office.

    • (Show?)

      Although I think it's lame that Dudley chose not to pay Oregon taxes in the 1990's, I am far more concerned by the fact that people appear to be leaning in his direction because (rather than in spite of) the fact that he has zero policy experience.

      The last thing we need is to bring in a governor with no experience. At the very least, Dudley should name his key policy people and chief of staff now so that voters will have the opportunity to vet the people who will be making the actual decisions in his administration should he manage to ride the anti-Democratic wave into Mahonia hall.

      • (Show?)

        Sal,

        Not only does he have zero experience, but he has been reluctant to engage in job interviews, i.e. debates.

        Imagine walking into a business and saying "hire me for CEO, but you don't get to interview me. Yes, I realize I have experience, but that's a good thing."

    • (Show?)

      You hope that if Tax-Dodge Dudley gets elected, that he games the system so Oregon gets less revenue for schools, roads, services, etc.?

      Odd way to hope a Governor would behave in office.

  • (Show?)

    I think this is funny, that everyone is so worked up about this. This is it? A guy lives across the river, and he is a cheater who hates Oregon? I didn't know your love of state is measured by how much in taxes you pay.

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