Tags: Death | Tax | Repeal | Will | Introduced | Again | Congress

Death Tax Repeal Will Be Introduced Again In Congress

Friday, 08 November 2002 12:00 AM

Under current law, the estate tax, also known as the "death tax," will be phased out in 2010, but could spring back to life a year later, in 2011. This year, the House passed a permanent death tax repeal, but similar legislation failed in the Senate.

Many Senate Democrats thought the original death tax repeal and any permanent measure were a giveaway for the rich.

"Strip it all away, this is a tax relief for billionaires when we have a very big deficit and we have other priorities," such as health care, education, Social Security and Medicare, argued Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.

Cox said the new version of his bill would also move up the "effective date" for full elimination of the estate tax, from 2010 to January 1, 2003.

"Delaying death tax repeal makes absolutely no sense from a policy standpoint," said Cox. "Why should a family business be broken up to pay death taxes if the owner dies in 2003, but not if the owner dies in 2010?

"Repealing the death tax now," Cox said, "will mean more government revenue and less government debt. Forcing small businesses and family farmers to create multiple estate plans to create this revenue is a cruel form of taxation. The expense of such plans drains revenue from the treasury."

The new legislation would direct resources away from "non-productive tax planning and toward job creation, higher wages and lower prices for consumers," Cox concluded.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans For Tax Reform, is among those who believe the death tax should be repealed.

"Over 70 percent of Americans oppose the death tax," said Norquist, "and with good reason. It is the worst form of double-taxation, where, after taxing you all your life, the government decides to take even more when you die. And worst of all, one out of four small businesses will have to go out of business to pay the tax, unless it is permanently repealed before 2011."

Cox's bill also has the support of the 60-Plus Association, United Seniors Association, the Wildlife Society and the Newspaper Association of America.

President Bush supports permanent repeal as well.

But the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities thinks a repeal would only benefit the "wealthiest Americans."

"Repealing the estate tax is costly, reducing revenues for both the federal government and states, and would provide a massive windfall for some of the country's wealthiest families," the center said in a statement on its website.

The group also thinks baby boomers would be hurt if the tax were repealed.

"The very high cost of repeal would be felt fully in the second decade of this century. That is the period when the baby boomers begin to retire in large numbers, substantially increasing the costs of programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid," according to the center.

"It also would leave fewer funds for tax cuts targeted on average working families," the statement concluded.

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Under current law, the estate tax, also known as the death tax, will be phased out in 2010, but could spring back to life a year later, in 2011. This year, the House passed a permanent death tax repeal, but similar legislation failed in the Senate. Many Senate...
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2002-00-08
Friday, 08 November 2002 12:00 AM
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