Moving to Florida Has Saved Bezos a Lot of Money

He's selling a lot of stock, and he won't have to pay Washington state's capital gains tax
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2024 2:38 PM CST
Move to Florida Will Save Bezos More Than $700M
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Jeff Bezos has moved to Miami after almost 30 years in Seattle, and it's going to save America's second-richest resident more than $600 million. The Amazon founder recently sold almost 12 million Amazon shares worth around $2 billion and has filed a plan with the SEC to sell 50 million more by next January, which would bring in more than $8.6 billion at the current price, the AP reports. Since Bezos has moved out of Washington state, the sales won't be subject to the 7% capital gains tax on stock sales over $250,000 that the state introduced in 2022.

Florida has no capital gains tax—and like Washington, it has no personal income tax. Avoiding the Washington tax saved Bezos around $140 million after the stock sale last week and if the stock price holds steady, it will save him close to $610 million on the scheduled sales. CNBC notes that Bezos sold billions in Amazon shares yearly almost every year after 1998, but the sales abruptly stopped in 2022 and 2023 after the state tax came in. Bezos, who was born in New Mexico and grew up in Texas and Florida, has said he moved to be closer to his parents and to operations of his Blue Origin space company.

Bezos' fortune has been growing fast: Amazon stock is up almost 75% from a year ago and he's currently in third place on the Forbes list of the world's richest people with an estimated net worth of nearly $195 billion, around $5 billion behind Elon Musk. In 2022, he pledged to give away most of his fortune, then estimated at $124 billion, before he dies. (Opposition from Amazon helped kill a proposed Seattle tax to help the homeless in 2018.)

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