The Hill continues its great reporting on the estate tax. In the latest article, Jay Heflin reports that Senator Baucus, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has said the estate tax changes will not be part of the small business tax bill as had been previously reported. He states the estate tax portion will be just too large. He states he sees the change from the looming $1,000,000 exemption and 45 percent rate to be part of the extension of the Bush income tax law (except for higher taxable income taxpayers). The Hill says: “Baucus did not say when the Bush/estate tax bill would move, but hopes to markup the small business tax bill next week.”
In a previous article, The Hill reported Senator Kyl, a Republican senator leading the charge on the estate tax, Senator Baucus, believes he is close to a deal with the other Finance Committee members on a $3,500,000 exemption that would in some way increase to $5,000,000, but with no inflation adjustment. Kyl has indicated part of the changes would be to allow the wealthy to somehow prepay their estate tax, but at a lower 35 percent rate. He indicated the hold up is finding “offsets”, meaning tax increases, to pay for the lower taxes that would be received if the estate tax exemption in 2011 is raised from the present law of $1,00o,000 to the $3,500,000 and his desired $5,000,000.
The opinion of this blogger is that Senator Kyl may be expressing what he is wishing for but probably will not get. If he were on track, one would assume Senator Baucus would have in some way commented on such progress. Again, after all is said and done, more is said than done.
By Kevin Staker
P.S. One might think this blog is becoming a fan site for Jay Heflin at the Hill. He is doing a great job on reporting on the estate tax developments.