Carl Icahn is heading to Florida for lower tax rates

Billionaire Carl Icahn is planning to move his home and business to Florida to avoid New York’s higher taxes, according to people familiar with the matter.

Icahn, 83, who was born in the Far Rockaway neighborhood in Queens, New York, has been an icon on Wall Street for decades. In the 1990s, he bought a mansion in the exclusive Indian Creek island enclave on Biscayne Bay in Miami.

The move is scheduled for March 31 and employees who don’t do so won’t have a job, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter was private.

Carl Icahn
Carl Icahn

A representative for Icahn declined to comment.

Hedge fund billionaires have relocated to Florida for tax reasons for years — David Tepper, Paul Tudor Jones and Eddie Lampert being among the most prominent. But Florida officials have been aggressively pushing Miami as a destination for money managers since the Republican-led tax overhaul. Signed by President Donald Trump in 2017, it set a $10,000 cap for state and local tax deductions, including income and real estate taxes.

As the tax bill was being negotiated, then Florida Governor Rick Scott, a former resident of Greenwich, Connecticut, made trips up north to court investment firms.

Florida is one of seven states without a personal income tax, while New York’s top rate is 8.82 percent. Florida’s corporate tax rate is 5.5 percent, compared with 6.5 percent in New York. Icahn’s move was reported earlier by the New York Post.

The difference could mean dramatic savings for Icahn, who is the world’s 47th richest person with a personal wealth of $20.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

His investment vehicle, Icahn Enterprises LP, has a market value of $13.6 billion and reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $1.6 billion in 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

— Scott Deveau and Sonali Basak, with assistance from Vonnie Quinn
Bloomberg News

Scott Deveau and Sonali Basak
Bloomberg News