Lawmakers May Launch Drive to Repeal Federal Estate Tax

Alan K. Ota reported yesterday at Roll Call Online that, “South Dakota Sen. John Thune and other top Republicans will launch a new drive to repeal the estate tax next year, while pulling back on efforts to force a year-end vote aimed at blocking a proposed Treasury Department rule that would tighten levies on inheritances.

“Thune, a senior Finance Committee member, has voiced confidence that there would be consensus support for his proposal to repeal the estate tax as part of a broad tax overhaul in the 115th Congress.

“‘If we can get into a debate about comprehensive tax reform, the odds are good that we can repeal the estate tax,’ the South Dakota Republican said in an interview.”

The Roll Call article indicated that, “But Thune and allies such as House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas argue that the current threshold for the exemption excludes a number of family-run businesses and farms, forcing heirs in some cases to liquidate assets to pay estate taxes. Last year, seven Democrats joined 233 House Republicans to pass Brady‚Äôs estate tax repeal bill on a 240-179 vote.

“Republicans promote estate tax repeal as a way to preserve jobs and save small businesses. But liberals such as Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison argue that full repeal would mainly provide a windfall to wealthy investors, including Trump and his family and some of the billionaires and millionaires he has selected for his Cabinet.”

Recall that The Wall Street Journal recently reported that, “Under current law, about 0.2% of Americans who die in 2017, or about 5,200 people, are expected to have taxable estates, according to the Tax Policy Center in Washington.”

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