Death Tax: ‘Nowhere to Hide’

By August 12, 2005General

Great op-ed on the death tax in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. In it, he spells out the reasons for repeal once again, noting that, “For those who plan to live beyond January 1, 2011, the current death tax reform law will do them no good.” So, just how are you feeling….? How dopey is an estate tax law that sunsets? Hard to plan for that, isn’t it?

He teed up a vote on the death tax before leaving town for the August recess. As he says in the op-ed, he will call for a vote the first week after the Senators return, adding, “There will be no more hiding on the issue of permanent death-tax repeal.”

We know this is an unfair and onerous tax. Sombody who built up a family manufacturing business can’t pass it along to their children free and clear. Instead, they will be saddled with a crushing death tax that the company must either be sold to pay or must borrow to pay, thereby creating crushing debt. Why on earth should death be a taxable event for the company? Can we agree that it would only be when the company is sold that any tax would be due?

Also, we’ll remind you once again that while $10 million sounds like a lot of money, a $10 million capital-intensive manufacturing company is not very big.

In any event, bravo to Sen. Frist for hitting the mark in the op-ed and for doing yeoman’s work on repealing the death tax. Don’t forget to weigh in with your Senators!