Jeff Bezos, Jennifer Lopez, and Oprah Winfrey are examples of how wealthy Americans are drawn to Florida by its tax policies.

Florida is home to many wealthy and well-known people, like Jennifer Lopez, Matt Damon, Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, and others. But Florida offers substantial tax benefits for a wealthy population, which is what draws people there, not simply its beautiful beaches and vibrant culture.

The number of millionaires in Florida locations like West Palm Beach and Miami has increased, surpassing the population of most of the country, according to the most recent wealth study from Henley & Partners and New World Wealth.

West Palm Beach now has 9,400 millionaires living there, including 64 centimillionaires and six billionaires, after a 90% growth in millionaire inhabitants over the previous ten years. Miami’s growth rate of 75% and its population of 38,000 millionaires, 160 centi-millionaires, and 12 billionaires confirm the city’s status as a haven for the rich.

Florida’s tax benefits entice the wealthiest.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ $147 million acquisition of two lavish properties in Miami’s Indian Creek Village—dubbed the “Billionaire Bunker”—highlights this tendency.

In an Instagram post on Nov. 2, Bezos announced his intention to relocate to Florida after spending nearly thirty years in Seattle, Washington. He cited his strong ties to Miami, his wish to be nearer to family, and the fact that a sizable amount of his aerospace company Blue Origin’s operations are moving to Cape Canaveral.

But there are also important financial ramifications to the relocation, especially given Bezos’s $165 billion net wealth and Florida’s advantageous tax environment.

Florida does not impose inheritance, estate, or individual income taxes on its residents. In its 2024 State Business Tax Climate Index, the Tax Foundation placed Florida among the top five states, while New Jersey, California, and New York are among the lowest.
Bezos’s brilliant move to combat tax increases

Washington, the home state of Jeff Bezos, passed a new state capital gains tax in January 2022. The levy levied a 7% tax on any gain on the sale or exchange of specific long-term capital assets, including stocks, that exceeded $250,000 in a given calendar year.

Prior to its implementation, Bezos offloaded around $15.7 billion in Amazon shares, avoiding almost $1.1 billion in taxes that would have been owed under the new capital gains tax. Bezos also puts himself in a position to save a lot of money on future stock sales by relocating to Florida.

The lack of a wealth tax in Florida is an added bonus. Based on analysis from the national accounting and consultancy company Marcum, if Bezos had stayed in Washington, the state’s planned wealth tax would have cost him an estimated $1.44 billion a year, or over half of the tax’s anticipated income.

Another benefit of Florida’s tax regulations for Bezos is that his heirs are no longer subject to Washington’s inheritance tax, which has the highest top rate in the country at 20%.

Florida’s sunny demeanor isn’t the only thing that draws in the affluent. It’s a deliberate decision to save money that is changing the future and identity of the state. The country is keeping an eye on how these developments will affect state economies and tax laws as legislators and citizens negotiate this changing terrain.

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