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Home Blogs Derek's Tax Blog Americans for a Fair Estate Tax
Written by Derek W. Jensen
Friday, 26 February 2010 17:04

OMB Watch reports that a coalition group has released a "Statement of Principles on Estate Tax Legislation". Apparently, OMB Watch is a member of this group, Americans for a Fair Estate Tax. It is unclear who other members of this coalition maybe. Nevertheless, the statement reads like a talking points memo on why the estate tax should be retain. It hits all pro-estate tax high points: cost of other proposals when we are facing a deficit; progressive nature of the estate tax; tax fairness; charitable giving; redistribution of wealth (the report doesn't call it this, but this is my short hand for the argument); and Warren Buffet.

The highlights of their principles are as follows:

  • Exempt no more than the first $2 million ($4 million for married couples) of assets in an estate.
  • Set a tax rate of no less than 45 percent for the taxable portion of estates, with an additional 10 percent tax on the taxable portion exceeding $10 million.
  • Restore a credit for state estate and inheritance taxes.
  • Simplify the estate tax by reunifying the gift and estate tax, and allow for portability of estate tax exemptions between spouses.

While these recommendations would still represent a tax cut for tax years 2011 and beyond, they would not be as significant of a cut as either going back to last year's estate tax law or continuing the repeal. There is no word if these recommendations will be acted on; however, there is a bill in the house presented Washington State Representative Jim McDermott that would appear to fall within these principles. His bill does have some support from a number of groups, even if it is not publicly supported by his own party.

Since these are talking points, let's see if they get repeated on the Sunday talking head shows.



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