Sarasota has its share of notable rich, including Stephen King, Jerry Springer, Rosie O’Donnell, Mary Matalin and James Carville, Joey Votto, and Jeffrey Vinik, noted for owning the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team. The typical person of wealth in Sarasota, however, is much more likely to be a millionaire-next-door type who built and sold a small business, had a lucrative career, or simply did well in some profession and then moved here.

How many wealthy individuals live here? According to Phoenix Marketing International, a Rhinebeck, N.Y., firm that tracks affluence trends for its clients, and based on real estate prices, family income and other factors, it’s likely that Sarasota County has 5,950 to 6,800 in the $1 million asset group and 860 to 980 in the $5 million asset group. And Phoenix’s definition is conservative; other wealth watchers do include sponsored retirement plans and properties (except primary residences) in measuring assets. Doing that would balloon the numbers significantly.

With no tax on income, estates, capital gains, dividends or interest, and a homestead tax break on primary homes, the Sunshine State attracts a flood of new money. From 1992 through 2010, $2 trillion in net adjusted gross income shifted across the U.S., according to IRS and Census Bureau data compiled by author Travis Brown, with low-tax states gaining most of it. Among the nation’s 3,100 counties and equivalents, Sarasota ranked eighth in total increase, but was second only to Collier County, when the gain is weighed against the population increase in that span.

The places that sent the most AGI to Sarasota? According to, they were Oakland County, Mich.; Cook County, Ill., and Westchester County, N.Y.

Source: Sarasota Magazine, March 2014