House Votes to Make Current Estate Tax Permanent

The House on Thursday voted to make the current estate tax exemption and rate permanent. The measure approved by the House locks in an exemption of $3.5 million per individual.

“What passed the House was better than doing nothing, because it would expire this coming January, but then come back to life in 2011 with exemption levels of only a million dollars per person and 55 percent tax rate,” said Mark Maslyn, the AFBF’s executive director of public policy. The 55 percent tax rate was in place before President George W. Bush was elected.

Farm Bureau is urging the Senate to approve a bill with a permanent fix for estate taxes, including a higher exemption level ($5 million) and a lower rate (35 percent). Farm Bureau has long advocated permanent repeal of estate taxes, but the prevailing budgetary conditions in Washington make that unlikely, according to Masyln.

The Senate is under pressure to take action on estate taxes, with a Dec. 31 deadline to address the issue looming

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