(08:45 GMT 10/21/2019) Editor’s Note: The headline is corrected and updated for accuracy after a previous erroneous figure of the budget deficit total.
Medina, Washington, where the world’s second-richest man Bill Gates lives is in financial trouble. The city of 3,200 residents is projecting a budget deficit of $0.5 million by 2020. If left unchecked this could balloon to $3.3 million by 2025.
In just seven months, the net worth of the Microsoft co-founder has grown by $9.5 billion, according to Forbes. This translates to Gates making approximately $31,415 per minute between March and October. To solve Medina’s financial troubles, Gates would only need 16 minutes to plug the $500,000 budgetary hole!
Why is Medina in dire financial straits?
The city of Medina is heavily reliant on property taxes with 44% of the revenue being generated from this category of taxes. As a way out, the mostly residential city is proposing to lift the levy which restricts annual increases on property taxes to 1%.
Per The Seattle Times, if approved the city’s levy rate will rise to 84 cents from 64 cents per $1,000 of assessed value next year. Thereafter there will be annual increases of 5% over the next five years. Approving the proposal to increase property taxes in November would see Medina generate an extra $0.9 million next year.
With Bill Gates’ residence in Medina worth $127 million, that would translate to monthly property taxes of around $106,680 or $1.28 million per annum.
The world’s richest man, Amazon Chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos, also resides in Medina. However, Bezos’ Medina residence is not as pricey and current property taxes per year amount to $233,475. There are also other multi-million dollar properties in Medina netting tens of millions of dollars in property taxes. However, Medina whose total operating budget for 2019 is $6.9 million, only retains 8% of these revenues.
Jeff Bezos could be usurped as the world’s richest man
Medina’s financial woes are coming at a time when arguably the two most famous Medina residents could switch rankings in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
According to the financial publication, Gates’ current net worth stands at $107 billion while that of Jeff Bezos stands at $108 billion. If Gates’ net worth continues appreciating at the current rate while that of Bezos slides, the tables could be turned before the end of the year. CCN.com has previously reported on Bill Gates’ phenomenal wealth appreciation.
Amazon no longer a trillion-dollar company
Bezos’ wealth has dropped from $131 billion at the beginning of the year to $108 billion partly due to a divorce. At the same time, Amazon’s stock has fallen in value. Since mid-July when Amazon hit a record high of $2,020 per share, the stock has declined by nearly 15% to sub $1,750.
Unlike Gates, Bezos has a relatively larger concentration of his wealth concentrated in the company he founded. After the divorce, Bezos’ stake in Amazon stood at 12%. As of Friday’s close, this is a stake worth $102.8 billion or 95.2% of his total net worth.
Gates, on the other hand, only owned a 1.3% stake in Microsoft as of August 2017. That’s $13.91 billion or 13% of his total net worth.