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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Steelers for sale?

In what may be a shock to Pittsburgh Steelers fans, the Wall Street Journal reports the Rooney family may be looking to sell the team (also see Tribune Review article).

What could possibly cause one of great families of the NFL to sell their team?  How about the Death Tax. 

Looming estate taxes and diverging interests among the children and grandchildren of the founder raise pressure for a sale, bringing emotional family issues into play.
Granted if the Rooneys all died in 2010, there would be no estate tax to pay.  But the estate tax is reinstated in 2011, so (and I assume the family plans on living that long) the death tax on the Steelers (estimated value of $1.2 billion) would be a hefty $660 million.

That seems like a lot of money to pay (at least to me), which is why selling the team - giving them cash assets - looks like a better option.

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