Estate Tax Must Go

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When Benjamin Franklin said 'nothing is certain but death and taxes,' he most likely wasn't thinking in terms of cause and effect.

August 01, 2003

 

Kent Conine, President NAHB

[email protected]

 

When Benjamin Franklin said "nothing is certain but death and taxes," he most likely wasn't thinking in terms of cause and effect. However, where estate taxes are concerned, his words proved prophetic.

In particular, the estate tax places a heavy burden on the heirs of family-run home building companies, that, in some cases, have had to liquidate their assets to pay the tax.

Under the current law, enacted in 2001, the estate tax will be reduced gradually until it is entirely repealed in 2010. But the tax is scheduled to return in 2011, when the entire estate tax cut enacted by Congress expires.

Such uncertainty in estate tax laws makes it difficult for builders and other owners of small businesses to plan their estates.

The House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 8, the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2003, noting it will help small, family-owned businesses create more jobs and continue to prosper. It's time for the Senate to follow the House's lead.

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