Costco will spend $3 billion to pay a special dividend of $7 a share next month ahead of higher tax rates that may kick in come January.
The Issaquah-based company joins a growing number of U.S. companies, from Wynn Resorts to Tyson Foods, that are announcing special dividends at four times the pace of last year ahead of pending tax increases in 2013. The rate on dividends, which was reduced to 15 percent during the George W. Bush administration, is set to go up as President Obama and Congress work to draw more revenue from top earners.Some of whom were generous supporters of Democrats, and are going to avoid those new higher rates;
Among the biggest beneficiaries of Costco’s special dividend will be co-founders Jim Sinegal and Jeffrey Brotman, and Chief Executive Officer Craig Jelinek.
Sinegal, who retired as Costco’s CEO at the end of 2011 but remains on the board, and various related entities together own more than 2 million Costco shares, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). His payout from the special dividend will be about $14.4 million.
Brotman, Costco’s chairman, and various family members and related entities together own 734,834 shares, making the special dividend worth $5.1 million to him. Jelinek owns 197,142 shares and will receive $1.4 million.No reason to go over the fiscal cliff in a barrel, if you can avoid it.