Roger Milliken Beats the Estate Tax Man by 48 hours

So Roger Milliken beat the tax man…, something his grandfather was unable to do. Mr. Millikin died just ahead of the reinstatement of estate taxes… Following is an excerpt from an article with an interesting history of estate taxes by Ryan J. Donmoyer in the the January 5, 2011 edition of Bloombergweek. I find tax records to be of great help to genealogists, so the article immediately caught my eye.

Roger Milliken

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) — Textile tycoon Roger Milliken ducked the taxman upon his death almost a century after his grandfather lost a landmark legal fight with the U.S. government over sheltering a fortune from the estate tax.

The 95-year-old Milliken, chairman of Milliken & Co., one of the world’s largest closely held textile, chemical, and floor-covering manufacturers, died in a Spartanburg, South Carolina, hospice on Dec. 30, less than 48 hours before a temporarily lapsed federal tax on multimillion-dollar estates was to be reinstated.

The federal estate tax was reinstated this year. Had Roger Milliken died Jan. 1, he would have faced a top rate of 35 percent after a $5 million tax-free allowance. His fortune peaked at $1 billion in 2003, according to Forbes magazine. It has declined since, along with the U.S. textile industry.

Read the full article.

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (, writes daily at, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

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