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Jeff Bezos to save $600M selling stock in Florida, not Washington

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(The Center Square) – Amazon founder Jeff Bezos plans to sell 50 million shares of Amazon stock, which would have cost him hundreds of millions of dollars had he not moved out of Washington state.

According to a regulatory filing, Bezos adopted a trading plan last November to sell up to 50 million shares of Amazon stock over a period ending on Jan. 31, 2025.

Bezos adopted the trading plan on Nov. 2, six days after announcing his move from Seattle to Miami, Fla.

While Bezos said he moved in order to be close to his family in Florida, the Amazon founder is also avoiding a tax on the sales of stocks and bonds.

Unlike Washington, Florida does not have a capital gains tax. In January 2022, Washington enacted the 7% tax on the sale of financial assets despite a legal challenge. Earlier in 2023, the state Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the capital gains tax.

During his residency in the Evergreen State, Bezos was subjected to owing the state $70 million for every $1 billion of Amazon stock he sells.

Amazon’s stock is currently at approximately $169 per share, meaning Bezos’ 50 million shares could be worth about $8.5 billion in total. In turn, Washington state is going to lose out on approximately $595 million in capital gains tax revenue from the Amazon founder alone.

Prior to the capital gains income tax being implemented in 2022, Bezos sold over $8.8 billion worth of Amazon stock in 2021, according to Forbes. That would have raked in $616 million in capital gains tax revenue.

The Center Square previously reported on the tax generating over $889 million in revenue in its first year. The $596 million that Bezos would have owed to Washington if he sold his shares while living in the state are 67% of the tax’s total generated revenue.

Revenue generated by the capital gains tax funds the education legacy trust account and the common school construction account, which fund early childhood education and common schools programs.