FLA Supporters Encourage Candidates to Sign Death Tax Repeal Pledge
October 27, 2010
On October 7, the Forest Landowners Association requested that its members and friends encourage both sitting Members of Congress and their challengers to sign a pledge to repeal the federal death tax. More than 500 congressional candidates have now signed the Death Tax Repeal Pledge to support the elimination of the tax, according to long-time ally American Family Business Institute (AFBI), the organization that authored the pledge and sponsored the effort. FLA and AFBI are excited to have 500 signers of the pledge, a vast improvement over the 30 candidates who had signed the pledge going into the 2008 elections.
The death tax has become a particularly hot issue in the Western states, including in Washington’s Senate contest, and some rural House districts where Democratic incumbents appear vulnerable. The tax tends to be a popular issue in rural areas because it raises concerns particularly among farmers and forest landowners.
During the Bush administration, Congress passed a law that lowered the death tax gradually and repealed it entirely for 2010. It is set to spring back January 1 to its 2001 level, absent congressional action, with a top rate of 55% and an exemption for the first $1 million of an estate's value.
The current Congress seems likely to consider a new version of the death tax, rather than full repeal, in a lame-duck session after the November election as part of a package of extensions of expiring Bush-era tax breaks.