Jeff Bezos’ move to Miami will save him more than $600 million in taxes
Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez walk in the Paddock before final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 06, 2023 in Miami, Florida.
Clive Mason | Formula 1 | Getty Images
Jeff Bezos’ $2 billion stock sale last week came with an added bonus: no state taxes.
Last year, Bezos announced on Instagram that he was leaving Seattle after nearly 30 years to move to Miami. He said the move was to be closer to his parents and launch his rockets at Blue Origin. The timing also suggested another reason: taxes.
In 2022 Washington state imposed a new, 7% capital gains tax on sales of stocks or bonds of more than $250,000. Washington state has no personal income tax, so the new tax marked the first time Bezos would face state taxes on his stock sales.
Starting in 1998 Bezos sold billions of dollars Amazon shared almost every year for more than two decades to fund his philanthropy, his space company Blue Origin, and most recently his $500 million mega-yacht and growing collection of mansions purchased by his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.
In 2022, when the tax came into effect, Bezos stopped selling. He did not sell any Amazon shares in 2022 or 2023, giving away just $200 million of shares at the end of last year.
After moving to Miami, Bezos made up for lost time. Last week, a filing with the SEC revealed that Bezos launched a pre-registered share sale plan to offload 50 million shares by January 31, 2025. At today’s price, that would total more than $8.7 billion.
Florida has no state income tax or capital gains tax. So on the $2 billion sale last week, he saved $140 million that he would have paid to the state of Washington. On a total sale of 50 million shares over the next year, it will save at least $610 million. And that’s assuming Amazon shares stay flat. If they continue to rise, the value of his shares – and his tax savings – will be even higher.
In other words, he more than paid for his 417-foot yacht, Koru, with just his Florida tax savings.
For his new digs, Bezos bought two mansions in Indian Creek for $147 million and is reportedly looking at three other properties on the island, which also counts Tom Brady and Carl Icahn as residents . Miami brokers say Bezos will likely tear down the homes and build a new one, with the total cost of the new estate likely to top $200 million.