The word's top three billionaires, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Jeff Bezos have more wealth than some countries. This we know. They also possess the personality traits consistent with highly successful people--drive, passion, attention to detail, a desire to give back, and the list goes on. This we also know.
However, one quality they all have in common that has attributed to their fortune and subsequently Microsoft, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon's value is their keen awareness in the advantages of securing tax credits and incentives at the state and local level.
Microsoft's Bill Gates, headquartered in Redmond, Washington, has received over $396 million in state and local tax credits and incentives since 2004, according to Good Jobs First. In fact, federal grants and tax credits made up less than 1 percent of its total government financial assistance. Washington, Microsoft's home state has contributed 50 percent of Microsoft's state and local tax credits and incentives secured.
While Warren Buffett has been a big proponent in raising taxes, Good Jobs First reports, Berkshire Hathaway has received nearly $1.3 billion in state and local assistance since 1992. Furthermore, $183 million in federal funds is nothing compared to what the state and locals have offered. Texas, New York, Ohio, Louisiana, and Oregon have been very good to Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidies making up over 90 percent of its state and local incentives.
Amazon has not been around nearly as long as Berkshire Hathaway, yet has been successful securing 100 percent of its tax credits and incentives from state and locals governments, according to Good Jobs First. Jeff Bezos has led Amazon to secure over a half of billion dollars in local incentives. State and local assistance are being used to subsidize constructing and expanding fulfillment facilities (allowing Prime-shipments to arrive faster).
While many business owners focus strictly on federal tax credits and tax loop holes, the world's top three wealthiest men see the value in state and local assistance and are capitalizing on them. Regardless if their companies are expanding or relocating operations, creating jobs, increasing capital investment the top 3 are seeking out and securing financial assistance from state and local governments rewarding economic development. The good news is the same discretionary and statutory incentives helping drive the wealth of Bill, Warren, and Jeff are available to you too.