NAM Opposes House Bill to Set Permanent High Rate for Death Tax

By December 2, 2009Taxation

The National Association of Manufacturers just sent a “Key Vote” letter to members of the U.S. House urging a no vote on H.R. 4154 Permanent Estate Tax Relief for Families, Farmers, and Small Businesses Act.

Key votes are determined by the NAM’s Key Vote Advisory Committee and are used to rank a member’s voting record on manufacturing-related legislation.

From the letter (copy here):

The NAM has consistently supported efforts to either repeal or significantly reform the estate tax. For small and medium-sized manufacturers, owners and families, the estate tax is more than a one-time tax. In a recent survey of the NAM’s small and medium-sized manufacturers, respondents said that, on average, they spend $94,000 annually on fees and estate-planning costs in preparation for their estate tax bill. This is money that could have been used to grow businesses and add jobs.

Legislation enacted in 2001 gradually phases out the estate tax and ultimately repeals the tax in 2010. However, without congressional action to make the repeal permanent, the tax will revert in 2011 to the extremely high pre-2001 rates.

H.R. 4154 would make permanent the 2009 rate of 45 percent and the $3.5 million exemption. While the NAM appreciates efforts to provide certainty by making the estate tax rates permanent, we do not view a 45 percent rate or an exemption that is not indexed to inflation as efforts that will achieve significant reform.

The House is expected to vote on the bill on Thursday.

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