Major League Baseball sent out its luxury tax bills on Thursday, and the Yankees owe $13.9M for the 2011 season. That’s down from $18M last year and $26.9M in 2009, and is their smallest bill since paying $11.8M in 2003, the first year the luxury tax was in place. For luxury tax purposes, the Yankees’ final payroll in 2011 was $212.7M. Checks to the commissioner’s office are due on January 31st.
The Red Sox were the only other team hit with a luxury tax bill this year, and will have to hand over a $3.4M check thanks to their $189.4M final payroll. Since the current system was put in place eight years ago, the commissioner’s office has collected a total $227.1M in luxury tax payments, and $206.1M (90.8%) of that has come from the Yankees. The Sox, Angels, and Tigers are the only other teams to have paid over the years. If you’re curious about where the luxury tax money goes, Maury Brown says the first $2.5M goes into the legal fund, then 75% of what’s left goes towards players benefits and the final 25% goes into the growth fund.