WASHINGTON (April 14, 2005) — The House has voted 262-172 for permanent repeal of the estate tax. The repeal, which currently is being phased in through 2010 and sunsets the next year, has long been a prime goal of the Tire Industry Association (TIA) and other small business groups.
They claim a permanent repeal of what's often called the “death tax” will forever spare their members from the danger of having to sell the businesses they inherit, simply to pay the estate taxes. However, other groups—such as the National Farmers Union, representing family farmers and ranchers—fear a permanent repeal will end up costing farmers and small businesspersons far more in capital gains and other taxes than it's worth.
The legislation faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where a 60-vote majority is needed to forestall the threat of a filibuster. Becky MacDicken, TIA government affairs director, said she expected the Senate to take up the bill in the late spring or early summer. “They don't want to rush it in the Senate, because it will take a while to reach a compormise everybody will be happy with,” she said.