It’s no wonder so many people are choosing to move to Southwest Florida: It is a worldwide destination for those seeking mild winters and plenty of outdoor activities, sporting events, concerts, and festivals. The Gulf of Mexico invites boating, fishing, diving, and recreation, in addition to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Collier and Lee counties have more than 150 golf courses that draw championship tournaments. The region is ranked No. 1 nationally for golf holes per capita by the National Golf Foundation. With more than 1.13 million people calling it home, Lee and Collier counties are magnets that draw new residents and businesses each year. Since 1990, Lee County has experienced 2.8 percent of compounded average growth annually, while Collier County has experienced a 3.2 percent increase. Both are projected to continue to grow steadily through 2045, with SmartAsset identifying three communities in Lee County—Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, and Fort Myers—as “boomtowns.” Much of this population influx is expected to come from northern high-tax states. While Florida has a 6 percent sales tax, there is no state income tax. Collier County instituted a one-cent sales tax in 2019 (to expire in seven years) to fund needed infrastructure projects, bringing total sales tax on purchases in Collier County to 7 percent. In addition to the allure of no state income tax, Florida’s homestead exemption allows homeowners to reduce the assessed value of their primary home when it’s declared their domicile.
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