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Carl Icahn latest to fuel Wall Street’s New York exodus

Megan Henney

Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor who has built a business empire in New York City over the past three decades, is moving his office -- including at least half of his staff and himself -- to Florida early next year, reportedly to dodge high taxes.

The 83-year-old investor, worth a staggering $17.7 billion , told employees at his publicly traded company Icahn Enterprises that he will close the Manhattan office at the end of March 2020 and open a new office near Miami one month later.

The New York posted first reported the news.

Icahn joins a slew of other powerful financial companies in fleeing New York for lower-tax destinations like Florida, Tennessee and Texas in the wake of President Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul, which placed a $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions.

In Nashville , over the past year, city officials secured deals with some of the biggest companies in the U.S., including Amazon, Alliance Bernstein, EY, SmileDirectClub, Mitsubishi and Pilot.com -- resulting in 10,000 new jobs.

And there’s no slowdown in sight: Ralph Schulz, the president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, told FOX Business there are currently about 121 businesses in the pipeline, either looking to expand in or relocate to the Nashville area. He declined to provide names of the companies because they signed nondisclosures.

City officials maintain that the flock of businesses moving to Tennessee was years in the making, part of a campaign to position the city as the new (and more affordable) Austin or Denver.

But Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe told FOX Business in June the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act raised new questions for businesses about whether they should relocate to a more business-friendly state.

Tennessee, meanwhile, boasts no income tax, one of nine states that does so, as well as lower property taxes, compared to states like New York and California (it does, however, levy a 6 percent hall tax on investment interests and dividends). Florida, Texas, Washington and Nevada are among the other states that do not levy an income tax on residents.

"It has driven, I think, a lot of good conversations for companies who are trying to lower their costs," Rolfe said.

Likewise, a number of Wall Street companies are heading to Florida , which is quickly becoming a haven for financial firms.

Over the past three years, more than 70 financial services companies moved into Palm County, the president of Palm County's Business Development Board told FOX Business in August.

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