By closing the sale this year, Lucas, as sole owner, could avoid up to $352 million in capital gains taxes.
With capital gains taxed at 15% this year, Lucas would pay $600 million to the US government on his $4 billion in proceeds from the sale. Next year, if the capital gains tax rate rises to 23.8%, he would have had to pay $952 million in capital gains taxes on the same sale.
While Lucas' timing may cause the U.S. government to lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues, Lucas has said he'll donate the majority of the sale proceeds to educational philanthropy.
The fiscal cliff drama ranks as one of the biggest blunders of 2012.