Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez walk through the Paddock before final practice ahead of the Miami F1 Grand Prix at the Miami International Autodrome on May 6, 2023 in Miami, Florida.
Clive Mason | Formula 1 | fake images
Jeff Bezos’ $2 billion stock sale last week came with an added benefit: 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 his rocket launches at Blue Origin. The timing also suggested another reason: taxes.
In 2022, Washington state imposed a new 7% capital gains tax on stock or bond sales over $250,000. Washington state does not have a 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 in Amazon stock almost every year for more than two decades to fund his philanthropy, his space company Blue Origin and, most recently, his $500 million megayacht and a growing collection of mansions acquired with his fiancee Lauren. Sanchez.
In 2022, when the tax went into effect, Bezos stopped selling. It didn’t sell any Amazon shares in 2022 or 2023, and gave away just $200 million in stock at the end of last year.
After his move to Miami, Bezos made up for lost time. Last week, an SEC filing revealed that Bezos launched a pre-scheduled stock sale plan to offload 50 million shares by Jan. 31, 2025. At the current price, that would total more than $8.7 billion.
Florida has no state income taxes or capital gains taxes. So in last week’s $2 billion sale, he saved $140 million he would have paid to Washington state. Selling 50 million shares in total over the next year will save you at least $610 million. And that’s assuming Amazon’s stock remains stable. If they continue to rise, the value of your shares – and your tax savings – will be even greater.
Put another way, he has more than paid for his 417-foot yacht, Koru, with his Florida tax savings alone.
For his new digs, Bezos purchased two Indian Creek mansions for $147 million and is reportedly eyeing three more properties on the island, which also counts Tom Brady and Carl Icahn as residents. Miami brokers say Bezos is likely to tear down the houses and build a new one, and that the total costs of the new property will likely exceed $200 million.
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