Palm Beach County thrilled with influx of hedge funds

The word is out among hedge fund owners that Palm Beach County is the place to be. Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, said she has been getting phone calls every day over the past two weeks from New York hedge fund owners tired of high taxes and cold weather.

Following a recent New York Post article that said, “The city’s hedge-fund executives are flying south — and it’s not for vacation,” Fla. Gov. Rick Scott sent a letter to hedge fund owners asking them to consider Florida, prompting a tremendous response.

“The story broke in Palm Beach County about two weeks ago,” Smallridge told Fox News. “They already know it is a very attractive tax environment and that’s why they’re looking at this area.”

According to the Fox News report, Florida’s benefits include:

Florida saw a net gain of nearly 50,000 residents from the New York tri-state area in 2011

Florida is one of just seven states in the U.S. that does not have a personal income tax

The law requiring Floridians to pay state taxes on intangible assets like stocks, bonds & mutual funds was repealed in 2007

Florida does not assess estate taxes or an inheritance tax, meaning no part of what is willed to individuals is taxed by the state

The Tax Foundation ranked Florida 5th in its 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index

“Palm Beach County has to be one of the safest and best corporate quality of life you could possibly want. Second of all, the tax environment is incredibly less in the state of Florida,” Smallridge said in the Fox News report. “Somebody making a million dollars in Manhattan is paying $147,000 in taxes that you’re not paying in Palm Beach County. That alone can pay for a very small condo.”

When asked to identify the most memorable conversation she’s had with a hedge fund executive in the last couple of weeks, Smallridge recounted a chat with a gentleman who had spent a week at The Breakers in Palm Beach.

“He said, ‘I’ll tell you what, I’ll come over the bridge and spend time with you,’” Smallridge said. While looking for office space with a view of the ocean, he said he told his wife she “could buy any size house she wants. The savings we will have bringing our family here is unbelievably higher than the cost of any home.”

See the entire interview with Smallridge here:


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