WASHINGTON—By a 274-154 vote, the House of Representatives has voted to phase out the estate tax by 2011.
Currently, small businesses and farms are taxed at up to 55 percent upon inheritance after the first $1.3 million of value. The House plan would lower the top rate gradually to 39 percent by 2010, and repeal it the following year.
House Republicans decided on the 10-year phaseout after receiving estimates that an immediate repeal of the tax would cost the U.S. Treasury $600 billion.
Repeal of the estate tax is a primary long-term goal of tire dealers, retreaders and other U.S. small businesses.