It's not quite on realm of a corporate inversion deal, but the move is expected to have a similar effect, particular in terms of tax benefits. But who's left to fill the void?

Greener Tax Pastures

When billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper relocated his $18 billion Appaloosa Management hedge fund last year from New Jersey to Florida, the New York Post proclaimed his exit from New Jersey could destroy the state. This is because Tepper, 58, manages a fund that was paying New state income tax in the ballpark of $140 million. The state now has to find a way to offset that significant loss of revenue. 

The reason for Tepper's move? How about the fact that New Jersey has the nation's third-highest tax burden, according to the Tax Foundation in Washington. And not only do New Jersey residents pay the nation’s highest property taxes, residents are often forced to pay both an estate tax on the deceased and an inheritance tax on their heirs. Florida, meanwhile, is free of both personal income and estate taxes.

Seeking greener tax pastures, Tepper, who Forbes estimates is worth $11.4 billion, packed not only his personal belongings, but also those of his hedge funds. He moved both himself and his fund to Miami Beach, leaving Garden State behind to deal with his vacancy. The billionaire has already listed a condo on Miami Beach as his permanent address, and has already filed court documents declaring himself a Florida resident. He's even opened an ­Appaloosa branch on South Beach.

Tepper, whose hedge fund performance has made him an investing legend, was New Jersey’s wealthiest resident -- a state where roughly 40% of revenue comes from personal income tax, while a third of that revenue comes from less than 1% of the state's taxpayers. 

The Bottom Line

In other words, the state's wealthiest residents were carrying the bulk of the weight. And Tepper's decision to leave NJ, which could have been spurred by state democrats pushing for higher taxes on millionaires, may have a domino effect not only on the state, but also on other wealthy residents who may decide to do the same.

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