Tax Hike Coming?

Democrats are scrambling to prevent the estate tax from zeroing out in 2010, which it is currently slated to do unless Congress passes new legislation. But instead of passing real, permanent estate tax legislation, efforts are underway to extend the current rate (45 percent on estates over $3 million) for 2010 – known as a one year patch – which would allow the rate to then increase to 55 percent starting in 2011.“The Democrats have concocted a plan they think will allow them to get away with increasing the estate tax rate without going on the record for what is really a tax hike,” says Dick Patten, president of the American Family Business Institute (AFBI), an organization representing family businesses, farms and ranches and leading the fight for estate tax repeal. “It won’t work. In this economy, with jobs and economic growth on the line, increasing the estate tax will never fly with the American public or small business. “If Congress wants to take action on the estate tax, then their time would be best spent repealing the estate tax entirely.” Consider the facts: Allowing the tax to increase to 55 percent (as it is currently scheduled to do starting in 2011) costs the nation 500,000 total jobs, while repeal would add 1,500,00 jobs to the national economy, according to a report by former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin for the American Family Business Foundation (AFBF).Under repeal, the government would bring in more revenue, as much as $23.3 billion annually, according to an AFBF study by a former Treasury official.According to a recent Opinion Research Corporation poll, Americans support repeal of the federal estate tax by a nearly two-to-one margin.“Contrary to what Democrats would have the public believe, it is family businesses and farms that bear the brunt of the estate tax burden. Wall Street and globally owned corporations are largely untouched by the death tax,” adds Patten.

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