By Taxpayers Association of Oregon Foundation
Amazon CEO and the world’s 3rd richest person, has announced he is leaving the State of Washington and moving to Florida.
The NY Post notes, “If Bezos were to keep Seattle as his primary residence and maintain his current net worth of roughly $162 billion, it would mean he’d have to cough up as much as $32.4 billion in estate taxes upon his death. Florida, meanwhile, does not charge residents estate tax, regardless of asset size, and also does not tax on capital gains. Washington’s Supreme Court, by contrast, decided in March to uphold its 7% tax on capital gains above $250,000.”
Marcum LLP notes, “By selling approximately $15.7 billion worth of Amazon stock before the new state capital gains tax took effect, Bezos saved nearly $1.1 billion in taxes. Relocating to Florida ensures that future stock sales won’t be subject to Washington’s capital gains tax, providing Bezos with significant tax savings.Washington state officials have been considering wealth tax proposals, which can have economically damaging effects. An earlier version of the proposal targeted billionaires and relied heavily on a small number of individuals from Amazon and Microsoft for revenue. The latest proposal imposes a 1% tax on tradeable net worth above $250 million and still relies on a small group of wealthy residents for the bulk of the revenue.Based on his current net worth, Bezos would have been liable for approximately $1.44 billion a year under the proposed wealth tax, accounting for 45% of the projected revenue. Bezos’ decision to move to Florida eliminates potential wealth tax collections worth nearly half the official estimate, highlighting the risks of heavily concentrating a tax on a few highly mobile individuals. If the tax were adopted, other high-net-worth individuals might also consider relocating.”
This continues the trend of people leaving liberal blue high-tax, high-crime states for conservative low-tax, low-crime states.