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House Approves Resolution Calling for Permanent Estate Tax Repeal

On September 19, the House adopted, 242-158, a resolution (H. Res. 524) urging Congress to permanently repeal the estate tax.

A temporary repeal of the estate tax is included in the tax cut package (P.L. 107-16) enacted last year (see The Source, 6/8/01). Under the law, the estate tax is phased out over ten years. In 2010 all estate taxes will be repealed but are scheduled to be reinstated in 2011.

“A temporary repeal of the estate tax makes absolutely no sense, and it is not fair,” said Rep. Jim Nussle (R-IA), sponsor of the resolution.

Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R-WA) agreed. “We have talked about the effect of the death tax on women-owned businesses,” she said. “In fact, the National Association of Women Business Owners a couple of years ago did a survey and they discovered that the cost of compliance to comply with the death tax is about $1,000 a month for the average small business owned by women,” she added.

“This resolution is nothing more than a press release,” countered Rep. Gerald Kleczka (D-WI). “The estate tax affects only the wealthiest segment of our society,” he added. “I would urge that this House return to the real issues facing this country: the lack of a prescription drug benefit under the Medicare program, reducing the costs of prescription drugs for everyone, ballooning deficits, the need to finance our fight against terrorism and a bipartisan commitment to improve our education system,” he stressed.

On June 6, the House passed legislation (H.R. 2143) that would make permanent the phase-out of the estate tax (see The Source, 6/7/02). The Senate, however, rejected similar legislation (H.R. 8) on June 12 (see The Source, 6/12/01).

Additionally, on April 18, the House adopted legislation (H.R. 586) that would make permanent all of the tax cuts in last year’s tax law, including a repeal of the estate tax (see The Source, 4/19/02).

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