Robertson Backs Estate-Tax Return

Jul 23 2010 | 12:01pm ET

Julian Robertson’s considerable estate would pass unmolested to his heirs should the Tiger Management founder die by the end of the year. But that doesn’t make the legendary hedge fund manager happy at all.

Robertson, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, Walt Disney heir Abigail Disney and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka participated in a conference call urging Congress to end its recess and reinstate the estate tax, which took 45% of inherited assets over $3.5 million. The issue has come to the fore following the deaths of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and three other billionaires this year—the estate tax lapsed on Jan. 1.

“You don’t get out of a credit crisis by borrowing more money,” Robertson said. “You get out of a credit crisis by putting your house in order, and in America’s case by bringing its budget deficit down.”

“This implies tax increases,” Robertson added. “The fairest way to increase taxes would be to tax the least deserving recipients of wealth, which are the inheritors.”

The estate tax is due to return—at a 55% rate—next year.

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