Your friend would be commiting tax fraud. He would need to live 6+months of the year in Vegas. California might still be able to go after him for income earned in the state. Doing something like sending your kids to CA schools also tends to make you a state resident as it shows intent.
Corps do this all the time but they live by different rules. And then they get stuck with things like 60 billlion dollars in offshore accounts that they can't spend without having to pay taxes.
I'm in sales, and a lot of guys I work with here in Socal are trying to find ways to reduce their tax burden. One buddy who lives in LA - but also covers Nevada for us... He is looking to buy a condo in Las Vegas for under $200K. Set that up as his primary residence. And then go to Las Vegas once a month on 'business' to show that he is there.
Basically saving himself the CA state tax burden....
I'm not sure the fine details of this... But I know a lot of companies are doing this as well. Relocating their headquarters offshore, or reporting revenues offshore, to reduce their tax burden.
Why stop at percentage? Why should he have to pay any more total money than anyone else. A simple 12k/ citizen tax would be more than enough to pay the budget. Personally I would love a 75% tax reduction. I am guessing the family of 4 making 50k/yr would feel differently about a 95%+ tax rate. It is easy to say the rich should pay less in taxes. Not many people have the courage to state the other side of that which is that taxes on the middle class have to go up to balance that out. Or you can try and balance the budget through spending cuts. I haven't seen a plan that comes close to that (unless you make really optimistic growth expectations and are willing to wait 20+ years). I just see political posturing. How many people would vote for the "Kick Grandma out of the nursing home" bill that would cut medicaid spending by almost half? About zero. How many would vote of the "reasonable defensive and not pork spending" bill that would do the same to the DOD? And so on.
As long as you're okay with someone who makes less than you having the same opinion when they increase your taxes by 7%. It's all relative.
I don't get why in this country the wealthy are expected to pay the way for the rest. We all have the same opportunity, Phil worked his butt off to become a professional golfer, no one handed him his money, why should he be expected to pay a higher percentage. ]
This whole thing should be a nonstory. Phil should have just said what he was doing and moved on. Whining about taxes doesn't make anyone look good and isn't going to help his brand.