New York Billionaire John Paulson (57) is thinking about moving to Puerto Rico to take advantage of a tax law passed there last year.
According to Forbes, Paulson is worth $11.2 billion. He made his fortune after leaving Bear Stearns in 1994 to found a hedge fund. He made $3.5 billion shorting subprime mortgage securities in 2007.
The Puerto Rican tax law he wants to take advantage of eliminates capital gains for wealthy new residents, according to Alberto Baco Bague, Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce of Puerto Rico. If Paulson remains in New York, his income tax obligation is around 50 percent.
A report by Bloomberg says that Paulson is considering a $5 million, 8,379-square-foot penthouse in San Juan. The ocean front condo takes up the 15th, 16th, and 17th floor, with floor to ceiling windows and panoramic ocean views. It does not, however, have an air conditioning system installed, yet.
When asked for comment, Paulson & Co. told Bloomberg the firm has “looked at real estate investments in Puerto Rico,” but hasn’t made any investments.
In 2010, when speaking to the University Club in New York, he encouraged the audience to buy homes…as many as possible:
“If you don’t own a home, buy one. If you own one home, buy another one, and if you own two homes buy a third and lend your relatives the money to buy a home.”
While he may want to avoid tax liabilities the come from living in New York, he isn’t stingy with charitable donations. He donated $20 million to NYU, $5 million to Southampton Hospital, $15 million to a maternity hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and he pledged $100 million to the Central Park Conservancy.
To take advantage of the Puerto Rican tax savings, John Paulson would have to live in the territory 183 days a year. It takes about four hours to fly from Puerto Rico to New York City. So far ten wealthy Americans have relocated to Puerto Rico to avoid taxes.