Phil Knight, is worth an estimated $58 billion. Knight has seen his fortunes almost double during the pandemic. The value of Knight's assets increased from $29.5 billion in March 2020 to $57.9 billion on October 15, 2021, an increase of 96.4 percent.
While Knight has declared he intends to give most of his wealth to charity, the Bloomberg expose documents that for years, Knight has "been using a range of legal techniques to ensure his heirs keep control of most of his assets and profit from them in the process, quietly transferring vast piles of money in a textbook example of how the rich avoid taxes."
Helen Flannery and Chuck Collins of the Institute for Policy Studies point out in this blog post how Knight's philanthropic activity mostly takes the form of donations to his own private family foundation of highly appreciated Nike stock. Billionaires like Phil Knight are the largest beneficiaries of the tax reductions provided in our tax code. As we've documented, for every dollar a billionaire like Phil Knight gives to charity, taxpayers chip in 74 cents in lost tax revenue. Yet for billionaires like Knight, charitable giving becomes an extension of their tax reduction planning and power and influence.