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More Sun, Less Taxes for New Yorkers in Florida



Paying too much income tax this year? Consider moving to Florida. The beautiful Palm Beach County is known for boasting a sunny forecast, affluent Jewish community, and— drumroll please— virtually no state income tax.

Consequently, Manhattan’s finance hotshots are flocking to work in the Sunshine State, according to published reports. Considering that in 2010, New York’s local government pocketed $14.71 of every $100 earned, it makes sense.

“I pay 33% taxes in New York and I know I’d pay much less in Florida,” Milo Ozberg, a business development analyst for a large renewable energy company told the JV. “This guy I had a business meeting with, his company is in Palm Beach, and we got into a conversation about taxes. I hit me that I earn well under 100K and I’m paying such high taxes in New York when it’s just not worth it. Especially when I could be in Florida enjoying the weather and not getting robbed by Uncle Sam, I’m lookingintomaking the move soon.”

And Ozberg isn’t the only finance whiz eager to jump on the Florida bandwagon. According to the New York Post, a large number of finance firms, particularly private equity and hedge funds, havealready relocated to sunny Palm Beach, where officials opened abrand new office dedicated solely to luring the finance worldaway from Gotham City and into the Sunshine State.

“Florida is a state of choice,” Thalius Hecksher told a news source. Hecksher is the global development chief for Apex Fund Services, and has moved several of his operations to Palm Beach. “It’s organically grown. There’s no need to drag people down here. It’s a zero-income-tax jurisdiction. And [there’s] the lifestyle!”

And the Palm Beach lifestyle sure is looking good right about now. This week, Manhattanites experienced a bitter cold, with light snow and rain thrown into the mix. On the contrary, Palm Beach averaged a high of 75 degrees so far this month. The thought of being on a Florida Beach amidst a brutal New York winter is quiet appealing.

In terms of numbers, while federal tax rates are the same in both states, there’s no state income tax in Florida. In 2009, Florida residents lost 3.31 percent of their income in total taxes, versus New Yorkers, who pay just over 5 percent, according to the National Tax Foundation’s latest report.It also doesn’t hurt that commercial property values are much cheaper in Florida.

“You weigh all of the benefits for being here to those in New York, and they outweigh them every time,” Evan Rapoport, CEO of, told the NY Post. His company has had a burgeoning presence in Palm Beach County over the past couple of years.

“This fiscal-cliff issue, with tax rates continuing to go up. We’re seeing where we’re going with taxes.In our industry, the people we’re talking about are $1 million-a-year earners. So when you’re talking about tax rates, it’s more meaningful,” he told the Post.

“[Plus] there’s also the lifestyle issue,” he added, mimicking Ozberg and Hecksher’s thoughts.

Because of the high demand of finance moguls yearning to relocate, officials in Palm Beach Country set up a whole office unit offering a “free and confidential” consulting service and dedicated to answering their inquiries and handling marketing.

“We’re not doing a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign. We don’t need to,” said Kelly Smallridge, who heads the Palm Beach County Business Development Board, which set up the special unit to handle inquiries and marketing. “The door was open because of the high-tax environment in New York,They’re coming to us.”

With today’s technology making it easy for finance firms work from anywhere, it’s safe to say that in the upcoming years more hedge funs will follow in industry footsteps and relocate to the tax-friendly Sunshine State.

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