Texas billionaire’s legacy: Death, but no taxes
Family of world’s 74th wealthiest person to benefit from Congress’ lapse
A Texas pipeline tycoon who died two months ago may become the first American billionaire allowed to pass his fortune to his children and grandchildren tax-free.
Dan L. Duncan, a soft-spoken farm boy who started with $10,000 and two propane trucks, and built a network of natural gas processing plants and pipelines that made him the richest person in Houston, died in late March of a brain hemorrhage at 77.
Had his life ended three months earlier, Mr. Duncan’s riches — Forbes magazine estimated his worth at $9 billion, ranking him as the 74th wealthiest in the world — would have been subject to a federal tax of at least 45 percent. If he had lived past Jan. 1, 2011, the rate would be even higher — 55 percent.
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