A Republican representative from Texas and another senior GOP senator have introduced bills that would permanently repeal the federal estate tax, legislation that closely mirrors measures the pair raised when Congress was last in session. The effort to eliminate the estate tax has drawn support from a number of prominent GOP legislators, including the Senate Finance Committee’s leading Republican and the Senate Minority Leader.
“Death should not be a taxable event,” argued the Senator in a statement protesting the estate tax. The movement to repeal the tax stands in stark contrast to the Obama administration’s wish to raise the tax; President Obama’s most recent budget proposes lowering the exemption to $3.5 million and raising the estate tax rate to 45 percent. Congress set the estate tax rate at 40 percent with an exemption of $5 million in early 2013 in an effort to avoid the projected effects of the fiscal cliff.
If Congress were to approve the new budget, thousands of citizens in Texas and other states would need to dramatically adjust their estate plans and tax planned wills. According to the Tax Policy Center, a $3.5 million exemption would affect approximately 15,300 American taxpayers in 2013, compared to an estimated 8,700 taxpayers under the larger exemption. Republican lawmakers contend that repealing the estate tax — which many conservative members of congress have called the “death tax” — could help create around 1.5. million new jobs across the United States.
According to an online press release, the Senator’s bill has attracted a total of 28 Republican cosponsors. The Texas Representative’s measure lists around a dozen cosponsors, though it has found support from one Democrat as well. The Representative, who serves as a senior member of the House Ways and Means committee challenged the bill in a recent statement. “What kind of government swoops in upon your death and takes nearly half of the nest egg you’ve spent your life building?,” he asked.
The Hill, “GOP tax-writers roll out estate tax repeal bill” Bernie Becker, Jun. 19, 2013