May the tax not be with George
George Lucas is not known for a a few things: making interesting films after 1983; a strong chin; for treating his employees and partners with fairness, dignity, and respect.
And it seems George has unloaded his Empire of merchandise and film to Disney for over $4 billion. Disney will only care about two parts of the Lucas Empire: Star Wars and Indiana Jones—the rest (recall Willow, Hook, and Howard the Duck… if you must) has little value.
Why now, George? Easy: in order to avoid taxageddon, it would seem.
That Lucas struck a deal in 2012 may be no accident either, advisers say. Long-term capital gains tax from the sale of assets held more than one year are taxed at a rate of 15% for investors in the 25% income tax bracket or above (Lucas’s level), and zero for investors in the 10% or 15% bracket. Those rates are set to jump to 20% and 10%, respectively in January. “He probably wanted to take advantage of the lower rate on long-term capital gain while it’s certain,” says Bill Smith, managing director at CBIZ MHM, a national accounting and professional services provider.
Of course Lucas is a dedicated Obamaphile but that doesn’t prevent him—or Obama… or anyone on the political left for that matter—from telling people to do one thing and doing another himself.
What’s Yoda’s take on George’s behavior? “The economic patriotism is weak in this one.”
And may the Schwartz be with you.