No Taxation Without Respiration

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Jun 05, 2006 11:34 AM

There's a LOT going on in the Senate this week, so don't forget about the Death Tax repeal.

Andy at Club for Growth is doing a Death Tax blogging marathon.

The NAM blog shares some of the stories of family manufacturing companies threatened by the death tax:

And so we ask again: Do we look like hereditary elite to you? Check out the Death Tax Chronicles and count the "hereditary elites" among them. We'll save you the trouble: there are none. These are men and women --- manufacturers all -- who own family companies and will pass the companies on to the next generation. They create jobs, they create prosperity and wealth for their employees and communities. Remember, a $10 million or $20 million manufacturing company is very small. As you'll see from the comments to our last post on this topic, these are folks who are running small manufacturing companies, trying their level best to compete.

The American Family Business Institute also has a collection of stories about the family businesses that fall prey to this tax. Here's one about a family ranch in Texas:

PLANO, Texas - Two of life's certainties hit at once when Debbie Gillan's uncle died in 1984.

Attending the reading of the will, she learned that she had inherited 4,500 acres of Hill Country ranch land held by her family since the turn of the century. Then she learned she owed $1.7 million in estate taxes.

When her father passed away in 1989, she got 5,500 more acres - and an additional tax bill of $565,000.

"I knew I'd probably go my entire life doing nothing more than paying off inheritance taxes," says Ms. Gillan, 45, who took out a long-term mortgage to pay off taxes on her uncle's ranch and is still paying on her father's parcel from the sale of other family assets.

It is a circumstance that has put Texas ranchers among the vanguard of estate tax reformers as a Republican tax-cut plan moves through Congress.