SALT deduction will encourage people to flee high-tax states: Billionaire Jeff Greene

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This billionaire investor says he’s ‘very cautious’ in today’s markets

Billionaire investor Jeff Greene on why President Trump’s tax plan shouldn’t concern high taxed states and why he is investing cautiously in the current bull market.

Billionaire investor Jeff Greene on Friday reacted to President Trump’s speech in Davos and how he would have changed the GOP tax plan.

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“The interesting thing that I noticed from this visit of the president and his cabinet members is they seem to be playing like an orchestra now. They were all saying the same thing, so none of us were really surprised to hear what he said because we sort of heard it from his cabinet members throughout the last few days,” he told FOX Business’ Liz Claman on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”

During his speech, Trump boasted about the bullish U.S. economy and has in the past credited the recently passed tax bill for the economic upturn. The corporate tax rate now stands at 21%, down from 35%, while the top individual rate dropped from 39.6% to 37%.

Though Greene agrees with lowering the corporate tax rate, the billionaire investor was still critical of dropping of the individual rate.

“As a Democrat I would have probably done a little different tax plan. I probably wouldn’t have cut the maximum tax rate from 39.6% to 37%, instead I would have maybe done an earned income credit so you could get some higher wages to people who need it the most. As an investor and a developer and a business person, the economy certainly will benefit from having lower corporate rates. It will help the job creation. It will help in a lot of different ways,” he said.

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Greene said a cap on the state and local tax deduction will encourage more boomers to move out of high-tax states.

“When you are writing off that 13% surcharge and now it’s costing you 13% and after that 6.5%, it makes the decision that much easier. I feel that it is going to push a lot of high net worth individuals who are actually big taxpayers in these high taxed states to move to the states without income taxes like Florida,” he said.

Some of the biggest critics of the tax plan were lawmakers from New York, New Jersey and other states with high tax rates. Though the Republican-controlled House and Senate were able to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the 12 Republicans that didn’t vote for the tax plan were all from high taxed states.

“I read a statistic recently that said that 76% of all private equity goes to New York, Massachusetts and California, the highest taxed states, so I don’t know if it’s actually going to strike fear in those governors. I think that in those states, they are focusing on building great human and fiscal infrastructure, which attracts businesses,” he said.

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