The death of New York Yankee owner George Steinbrenner has created a void on our local sports scene which will be hard to fill. Even though your faithful lawblogger has been a fan of New York’s other team since its founding in 1962 (and before that, I confess to being a New York baseball Giant fanatic), the "Boss" has been a colorful and charitably generous man who has provided us with years of excitement. Investing about seven million dollars of his own funds into a failing Yankee franchise when he purchased it in the early seventies, Steinbrenner built his fortune up to over 1.1 billion dollars at his death.
The Yankee organization and local fans are not the only ones who are sorry that Steinbrenner was not blessed with a longer life. His death in 2010 means that his estate will pay no taxes to the federal government. There will be no need to struggle with the ubiquitous and complex 706 estate form –or to file it together with a check in the neighborhood of half a billion dollars for the tax which would have been due had he lived into 2011 when the old tax rates of 55% of estates above one million dollars will once more become law.
As I have opined in the past, it looks for all the world as if the fed is simply allowing the old law to sunset and, by so doing, enact a "back door" tax increase without taking any action at all. Meanwhile a treasury which is literally starved for tax dollars is losing billions from the estates of wealthy individuals who die in 2010.