Sunday, June 04, 2006

more on the estate tax

From an Op-ed in the Post Gazette:
Only 1 percent of the country -- amounting to a handful of ultra-wealthy individuals -- would benefit from estate tax relief, since they're the only ones who are currently subject to the tax. In contrast, the cost of repeal would be significant economic damage to our nation's charities and foundations -- institutions whose sole purpose is to advance the common good here in America, and around the globe.


The House has already voted to repeal the tax permanently. That would cost about $1 trillion in federal tax revenues in the first 10 years it would be fully in effect, once the added interest on the federal debt is taken into account. In today's terms, repeal would cost roughly the same each year as everything the federal government now spends on homeland security, and more than it spends on education. Revenue losses this big would significantly worsen the already severe federal budget problems the nation faces.

And that is to say nothing of the potential negative impact on state budgets. Close to half the states currently levy estate or inheritance taxes that bring in approximately $4.5 billion annually. Repeal of the federal estate tax would put this revenue --used to fund education, health care and other vital social services -- at considerable risk.


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