Responses To Todds Letter
To The Editor:
I cannot tell you how irritated I was upon reading the letter from Stanton W. Todd III. While it may be presumptuous, inasmuch as poor folks do not typically have III after their names, it is my guess that Mr. Todd has had the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth most of his life. While I admit to my presumptions, I think he has unfairly presumed things in his response to Jack Bobos April 28 column. As I recall, Mr. Bobo did not suggest anything about sales taxes in his column.
I would suggest, in response to Mr. Todd, that transferring a tax that touches only the wealthiest among us and dropping it on the general populace is totally inappropriate. While the elimination of the “stepped up” basis rules may seem fair to Mr. Todd, I deem it grossly unfair to transfer these taxes to every American who happens, fortunately, to own a piece of appreciated property and wishes to transfer the value or property to his or her heirs. In my case, the threat of this change has forced a revamping of the estate plan where a property had, previously, been designated for transfer to the grandson.
Further, I would suggest that the elimination of the “stepped up” basis rule would strike, disproportionately, at those who live in areas of the country where, for demographic and economic reasons, property values are increasing rather than those who remain in the “rust belt” and other areas where values are flat.
Mr. Todd further suggests that by this change we will allow more families to keep the family home so, maybe, the question is, “How many families, as a percentage of the population, still live in the home where they grew up?” I would suggest that, as a percentage, the figure is extremely low and, thus, his argument is specious. If Mr. Todd thinks that the elimination of the “stepped up” basis rule, as a substitute for the estate tax is fair, I suggest he is the one who should have a problem keeping a straight face. Forced liquidations? Mr. Todd youve got to be kidding me.