(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire David Tepper has returned to New Jersey -- a move that may cost him $120 million in state income taxes this year.
Tepper, 63, moved back to the Garden State in January for family reasons, people familiar with the matter said. Last year, he married a long-time New Jersey resident.
Tepper had been living in Miami for the past five years. His return to one of the highest-taxing U.S. states comes as other wealthy individuals have said they are relocating to Florida and Texas, which have no state income taxes.
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney disclosed the move last week in a floor debate over the state’s so-called millionaires tax.
During the debate, Senator Joe Pennacchio, a Republican, used Tepper as an example of someone who had fled New Jersey because of high taxes.
“He moved back to New Jersey,” replied Sweeney, a Democrat overseeing the voting session. “He called me and told me. He says, ‘You got an extra $120 million coming from me.’”
A spokesman for Tepper declined to comment.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said Thursday that the number of millionaires in the state has been growing in the past couple of years, rejecting criticism that raising their taxes is causing a migration.
New Jersey is the “quintessential middle-class state, and asking the wealthiest among us to help us make those investments is good for the middle class” and others, he said during an interview on Bloomberg Television.
Tepper, whose wealth is estimated at $12.6 billion by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, decamped to Miami in 2015, causing consternation in New Jersey, where he was the largest individual taxpayer. The following year his hedge fund Appaloosa Management relocated to Florida, too.
Tepper changed his residency to the Sunshine State before a 2017 federal deadline stipulating that any performance fees hedge fund managers had kept offshore must be brought onshore and taxed by then. Unlike other jurisdictions, New Jersey had no claim on that money once the taxpayer left the state, even if he or she had lived or worked there when the income was earned.
While taxes were a factor in Tepper’s original decision to go to Miami, there were also family reasons, according to a person familiar with the matter. Tepper had recently divorced his first wife after many years, and his sister and mother both lived in Florida.
The billionaire is still registered to vote in Florida, state records show, suggesting that he hasn’t yet given up his residency there.
(Updates with governor’s comments in eighth paragraph.)
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