Republican Congress Looking To Abolish The Death Tax

Posted: Dec 16, 2016 8:45 AM

Republicans have long called for the estate tax (known as the death tax to most critics) to be repealed. For many years, however, any real repeal legislation has eluded conservative lawmakers. That may change with the incoming GOP leadership in Capitol Hill.

President-elect Trump and the GOP congress have called for the end of the death tax in recent days. In fact, Speaker Ryan’s “Better Way” agenda includes a major tax overhaul for the United States – ending the estate tax is a major tenet of its package.

Sen. John Thune is angling to push for reform in the upper chamber. The senior member of the Senate Finance Committee is voicing encouragement that there will be enough support in the upcoming 115th Congress to repeal the death tax. He is working with colleagues in the Senate and House to push for repeal.

As of right now, Americans can inherit property worth up to $5.45 million without being taxed. Anything over than that is hit with a 40 percent tax.

Liberal stalwarts such as Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison say repealing the tax would only be a boon to wealthy businessmen and families. However, this is an unfair characterization. Inheriting a family-run business can be daunting for many family members. Heirs to family-run farms or businesses have been forced to liquidate assets just to pay for the taxes levied on them.

Keep in mind, this is an estate that has already been taxed by the previous owner. Many critics point to the fact that this is double taxation.

Speaker Ryan and other House GOP members have been pushing hard for their “Better Way” agenda. Perhaps with Senate leaders like John Thune, and DOnald Trump in the White House, the death of the death tax will finally happen.