Bezos’ billionaire bunker move: A tax-saving masterstroke

This relocation to an area known as the "Billionaire Bunker" for its exclusivity and high-profile residents marks a strategic shift in Bezos' personal and financial domicile.


Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, has made a significant move from Washington state to Miami, Florida, a decision that is poised to save him at least $610 million in taxes. This relocation to an area known as the “Billionaire Bunker” for its exclusivity and high-profile residents marks a strategic shift in Bezos’ personal and financial domicile.

Bezos announced his move on Instagram on November 2, following the acquisition of two luxurious mansions in Indian Creek Village, Miami, for $68 million and $79 million. The island, home to other notable figures like Tom Brady and Carl Icahn, is renowned for its privacy and security, accessible only to those with invites. Bloomberg reported that Bezos is in talks to expand his property holdings on the island, signaling a long-term commitment to the area.

The backdrop to Bezos’ relocation is Washington state’s recent implementation of a 7% capital gains tax, which came into effect after a prolonged legal battle. This tax applies to the sale or exchange of significant assets, including stocks, exceeding $250,000. CNBC highlighted that Bezos, who has consistently sold Amazon shares to fund various ventures, paused these sales in 2022, coinciding with the new tax’s inception.

Since moving to Florida, a state with no income or capital gains taxes, Bezos has resumed selling his Amazon stock. In just the last week, he sold approximately 12 million shares, valued at around $2 billion. Plans revealed through U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings indicate Bezos aims to sell 50 million shares by January 31, 2025, a move that could yield over $8.7 billion at current market values.

The legislative landscape is responding to such tax avoidance strategies by the ultra-wealthy. Senator Bernie Sanders’ Make Billionaires Pay Act, for example, proposes more stringent federal taxation that could have significantly increased Bezos’ tax obligations. Warren Gunnels, staff director for Senator Sanders, noted, “If Bernie’s Make Billionaires Pay Act was signed into law during the pandemic, Bezos would have paid $42,800,000,000 more in taxes, and everyone in America would have had healthcare as a right.”

The debate around billionaire taxation and migration is nuanced. While some argue that high taxes drive the wealthy to relocate, research, including a 2016 study by Stanford University, suggests such tax flight is minimal. Carl Davis, research director at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), stated, “When you look at the data, there isn’t much support for the view that high-income people are moving in meaningful numbers because of taxes.”

In light of Bezos’ move and the broader implications for tax policy, Americans for Tax Fairness advocates for a national approach to billionaire taxation. “If we had a national billionaire income tax, we’d collect that revenue no matter where he lived,” the group asserted on social media, emphasizing that billionaires cannot evade their fiscal responsibilities to the nation.

Concluding on the matter, ITEP’s Davis remarked, “Billionaires can’t quit America to avoid paying. If they left, we’d collect a fortune in exit taxes.”


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Ruth Milka started as an intern for NationofChange in 2015. Known for her thoughtful and thorough approach, Ruth is committed to shedding light on the intersection of environmental issues and their impact on human communities. Her reporting consistently highlights the urgency of environmental challenges while emphasizing the human stories at the heart of these issues. Ruth’s work is driven by a passion for truth and a dedication to informing the public about critical global matters concerning the environment and human rights.