Also from the Death Tax Hearing

By November 14, 2007Taxation

The Bloomberg story cited below on the Senate Finance Committee hearing is very thorough. We appreciate the inclusion of remarks from Eugene Sukup of Sukup Manufacturing as a modest balance to Warren Buffett’s leveling.

Eugene Sukup, founder and chairman of Sukup Manufacturing Co. told the committee today that the tax is “one of the greatest threats to our family-owned business.” In testimony prepared for the hearing, he said if he and his wife die, his sons would have to sell the Sheffield, Iowa-based company, which makes grain-handling equipment, to pay as much as $20 million in taxes.

Sukup said tax-planning strategies that minimize that liability cost his company money that otherwise would be reinvested.

Anyway, Bloomberg’s story also adds the very important context: The death tax phases out until it reaches 0 percent in 2010. If Congress does nothing, the tax kicks back in 2011 with a top rate of 55 percent.

Wonder how a wave of parricide in 2010 would affect Buffett’s predictions of plutocratic dynasty-building?

P.S. Prepared witness testimony is available here, although as of 12:45 p.m., the Committee has yet to post Buffett’s.

UPDATE (12:55 p.m.): The NAM’s Dena Battle, in attendance at the hearing, reports: “When asked whether the estate tax should be reformed for family owned businesses, Buffett recommended that businesses simply borrow to pay the tax. They could pay it back over a fifteen year period. He described the $3 million in interest annually as inconvenient. Only someone with as much money as Warren Buffett could call a $3 million interest payment to the government ‘inconvenient.'”

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Hank Stark says:

    Mr. Buffet is a vulture. His company buys distressed businesse forced to sell out due to his beloved death tax. Those companies that are able to survive, have purchased life insurance from Mr. Buffet. I wonder why Buffet thinks the death tax is a good tax.

  • Steve Kastan says:

    Warren Buffet is out of touch with middle class America. This country was built because of the incentive to work hard and reap the rewards. If family’s have to give the rewards away there is little incentive to strive for more in life. Mr. Buffet should be ashamed of himself. He benifits from insurance companies selling life insurance. He also benifits when business can’t offored to keep investing in there business because of the money they have to pay out to protect there business for there family. If Mr.Buffet was so concerned about helping America he would help these people keep there companies instead of buying them out and profiting for himself. As far as Mr.Buffets will to have his ancestors taxed at a higher rate that is smake in the face to the intellgence of America. Most of Mr. Buffets money is proteced in trust and other tax shelters. I just don’t think you can compare leaving your family 15 billion instead of 30 billion with the rest of america. Mr. buffet has plenty of support from his other billionare friends who are also out of reality.

Leave a Reply