NU Online News Service, Feb. 5, 10:29 a.m. — Washington

President Bush is proposing to permanently extend repeal of the estate tax.

In his Fiscal Year 2003 budget, the president says that permanent repeal of the tax is necessary to provide citizens with certainty over estate tax issues.

The proposal relates to a tax reduction package enacted last year?called the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001?that, among other things, phases out the estate tax on Jan. 1, 2010.

However, that legislation sunsets on Jan. 1. 2011. If it does, the estate tax will come back into being exactly as it stood prior to enactment of the 2001 legislation.

Bush says taxpayers make long-term plans far beyond 2010 when planning for bequests for their children.

Taxpayers require the certainty that can be provided by permanently extending the provisions of last year’s tax act, Bush says.

Estate tax repeal is one of several items from the 2001 tax reduction package that Bush wants to permanently extend.

Other items include reduced marginal rates for individuals, a reduction in the marriage penalty and increased incentives to contribute to retirement plans.