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Steinbrenner: business savvy even in death

Jul 14, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

Say what you want about George Steinbrenner, but he was a hell of a businessman. From turning a tiny initial investment in the Yankees into a billion-dollar franchise, to starting his own regional sports network, rarely did the man make a business mistake.  The pattern continued even until his death:

By dying in 2010, the billionaire and long-time
New York Yankees owner’s wealth avoids the federal estate tax, likely
saving his heirs enough money to field an entire team of Alex
Rodriguezes.

Steinbrenner’s
death Tuesday came during an unplanned year-long gap in the estate tax,
the first since it was enacted in 1916. Political wrangling has
stalemated efforts in Congress to replace the tax that expired in 2009.

Because no one really knows his estate plan or the extent of his holdings, it’s hard to tell how much money he saved by going in 2010, but the back-of-the-envelope calculations in the linked article figure that, at a minumum, Big Stein’s heirs have saved $300 million+ by him passing in 2010 instead of 2009 or 2011.

Suggestion: whatever big free agent the Yankees sign this winter be given the nickname “tax break” or “death tax” or something like that.

  1. Wooden U Lykteneau - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    Oh, look – Steinbrenner getting credit for something that’s entirely coincidental. How novel.

  2. JBerardi - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    Oh, look– the US tax code favors the un-freaking-believably rich. Well, I’m sure this’ll help create jobs or some such crap…

  3. gm0ver - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    Most websites/newspapers are reporting this incorrectly. Because George is survived by his wife, he wouldn’t have been nailed by the estate tax anyway. His heirs will also not receive a step-up in their basis.

  4. gm0ver - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    ggg

  5. MdEagle - Jul 14, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    Hmm..after reading this, I wonder if it was a “heart attack” that took the Boss?!?!?

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