The House voted 264-163 to permanently eliminate the estate tax, a move cheered by tire dealers and other small business owners.
Current law gradually reduces the tax to zero by 2010, but reinstates it in full a year later. The bill faces a rocky future in the Senate, which requires 60 votes for repeal of the tax. But the House vote gives hope to small business, according to Becky MacDicken, government affairs director for the Tire Industry Association.
``We hope this means that someday small business owners can look forward to the end of the death tax,'' she said.
Robert L. Redding, Washington representative for the Automotive Service Association, said ``as shop owners get older, it becomes a more and more important issue.''