Bezos Ditches Seattle for Miami as More Companies Flock to Florida
Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos announced this week that he is ditching Seattle after nearly 30 years and relocating to Miami’s sunny shores. Bezos explained the “emotional decision” in a social media post, citing business interests and a desire to live closer to his parents, who also recently made the jump to Miami.
A short video of Bezos accompanied the statement in his first office, filmed by his father.
“Seattle has been my home since 1994 when I started Amazon out of my garage. That’s my dad behind the camera in this video, touring Amazon’s first ‘office,'” he wrote.
“My parents have always been my biggest supporters. They recently moved back to Miami, the place we lived when I was younger (Miami Palmetto High class of ’82 — GO Panthers!) I want to be close to my parents, and Lauren and I love Miami,”
Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 but stepped down as the company’s CEO in 2021. He has most recently focused on his aerospace manufacturing company, Blue Origin.
“Also, Blue Origin’s operations are increasingly shifting to Cape Canaveral,” Bezos added. “For all that, I’m planning to return to Miami, leaving the Pacific Northwest.”
“I’ve lived in Seattle longer than I’ve lived anywhere else and have so many amazing memories here. As exciting as the move is, it’s an emotional decision for me. Seattle, you will always have a piece of my heart,”
Jeff Bezos shares the video of his first office. pic.twitter.com/FVKRWsTIfj
— Valuetainment Media (@ValuetainmentTV) November 3, 2023
While Bezos did not specifically cite taxes as a factor in his move, it is notable that Washington recently enacted a 7 percent tax on the sales of financial assets. Meanwhile, Florida has no capital gains or income tax.
Bezos is not the first business leader to relocate to the Sunshine State. According to data compiled by ‘Hire a Helper’ from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, companies are moving their headquarters to Florida at nearly twice the rate they are moving out. In a breakdown of net gains by city, the three top recipients in 2022 included Jacksonville at 67 percent, Tampa at 49 percent, and Miami at 33 percent.
In fiscal year 2022, nearly 9 percent of America’s 6,700 publicly traded corporations moved their headquarters to Florida. This also included billionaire investor Ken Griffin and his hedge-fund firm Citadel, which oversees over $51 billion in assets.
Florida’s job growth rate was 5 times faster than the nation’s rate.
In July, Florida continued to set the standard for economic success.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) August 20, 2023
In August, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida’s private job sector growth had exceeded the national average by as much as five times.
“For the last four years, Florida has led the nation with more than 2.5 million new businesses formations and over 1 million Floridians joining the workforce,” said DeSantis. “Florida’s success is the direct result of freedom first policies that support business owners and job seekers along with record investments in workforce education and infrastructure that spur economic growth.”
Florida has consistently ranked as the fastest-growing state by population as well. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the state added 319,000 new residents to its population in 2022, making up a nearly 2 percent overall increase.
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