Bunning: Steinbrenner ‘smart’ for dying in ’10

The Kentucky Republican noted that the wealthy Yankees owner passed away before the estate tax returns next year.

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) on Wednesday praised New York Yankee owner George Steinbrenner for passing away in 2010 when there is no estate tax. 

“Because he was smart enough to die in 2010, there is zero tax liability on the estate tax,” he said. 

The senator made the comment during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on tax cuts enacted by President George W. Bush. Temporarily repealing the estate tax for 2010 was part of that package. 

The estate tax is expected to return in 2011, and was active in 2009. 

“If he had died in 2009, or 2011, there would have been a $500 million tax liability to his estate in 2009, and in 2011 — under the proposal that we have — there would have been a $600 million liability,” he said.