Pass Death Tax Reform, Extend the R&D Credit

By August 3, 2006Economy

Senators will soon be voting on legislation of tremendous importance to manufacturers, investment, innovation and economic growth. H.R. 5970, The Estate Tax and Extension Tax Relief Act, dramatically reduces the death tax, a longstanding NAM priority. The legislation also extends and strengthens the R&D tax credit, a key investment incentive for manufacturers (who lead the private sector in research and development spending.)

The NAM strongly supports the legislation.

To be sure, H.R. 5970 is a compromise, featuring sundry provisions that stray from policy perfection. On economic and philosophical grounds, we’d prefer a full repeal of the death tax. Extending the R&D tax credit for two years is great, absolutely, but a permanent extension would be even better. And while the federal minimum wage is rarely an issue for manufacturers — who pay well above average — an increase is justifiable almost exclusively on political grounds.

The Wall Street Journal lead editorial provides a good summary of the pros, cons and sausage-making elements, concluding the bill is worth passing for its help to “about 90 percent of the family-owned business in America that would otherwise get clobbered by the IRS upon the death of a loved one.”

Agreed. The NAM sent all Senators a “key vote” letter yesterday — text here — endorsing H.R. 5970 and discouraging any procedural maneuvers to block a vote. Passage of H.R. 5970 is the most important thing for Senators to accomplish before they leave town for the August recess.

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  • Fred says:

    “about 90 percent of the family-owned business in America that would otherwise get clobbered by the IRS upon the death of a loved one.” This is simply a lie. Companies with sales of up to $1 million annually represent about 80% of all businesses – even if their worth is 3 times that number, it still isn’t taxed for a married couple.