Jeff Bezos Saves at Least $600 Million by Quickly Relocating to Florida

Jeff Bezos, the founder and executive chairman of Amazon, has made a significant move by relocating from Seattle, Washington, to Miami, Florida. This strategic decision coincides with his plan to sell up to 50 million Amazon shares, a move detailed in a recent Amazon filing.

By shifting his residence to Florida, Bezos is poised to save approximately $600 million in capital gains taxes that he would have otherwise incurred if he had sold the shares while still a resident of Washington state​​​​​​.

Washington state introduced a 7% capital gains tax on the sale of financial assets over $250,000 in January 2022, despite facing legal challenges. This tax was upheld by the state Supreme Court earlier in 2023. Bezos’ move to Florida, a state without a capital gains tax, significantly reduces his tax liabilities on the planned sale of Amazon stock.

The sale of 50 million shares, based on Amazon’s current stock price, would result in gross proceeds of more than $8.5 billion. Consequently, Washington state stands to lose out on approximately $595 million in capital gains tax revenue from Bezos alone​​​​.

Bezos announced his move to Miami via Instagram, citing the desire to be closer to his family and his Blue Origin space venture as the reasons for his relocation.

Notably, he did not mention taxes as a factor in his decision. However, the financial implications of his move are significant, both for him and for Washington state. The capital gains tax in Washington was introduced as a measure to address the state’s regressive tax laws and to fund early education, childcare programs, and school construction projects​​​​.

This development highlights the broader conversation about the impact of tax policies on individual and corporate decisions, as well as the ongoing debate about wealth taxation and its effects on economic competitiveness and state revenue​

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