Members of the U.S. House voted 272-162 Wednesday, largely along party lines, to make repeal of the federal estate tax permanent.[@@]
All of the 230 Republicans who voted on the estate tax repeal permanence bill, H.R. 8, voted for it, and 160 of the 202 Democrats who voted on the bill voted against it.
H.R. 8 now moves on to the Senate, where Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., have introduced a companion bill, S. 420.
Officials of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Washington, strongly support H.R. 8. They called the House vote “a great step forward.”
Officials at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers, Falls Church, Va., and the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, a NAIFA affiliate, say they are not sure whether H.R. 8 has enough support to get through the Senate.
NAIFA and AALU officials say they would prefer to see Congress enact truly permanent, “sustainable” estate tax reform, such as a measure that would exempt estates valued at less than $2.5 million from federal estate taxes, than a more ambitious, “permanent” reform measure that might not last very long.
“A significant question is what level of reform is sustainable over the long term,” NAIFA and AALU officials say in a statement. “AALU and NAIFA members help [families] create complex, multiple-decade plans to make sure that assets are preserved, that they go to intended beneficiaries, and that businesses remain viable and profitable into the next generation.”
Because creating a $2.5 million estate tax exemption would be about $500 billion cheaper for the federal government than permanently eliminating the estate tax for everyone, creating a $2.5 million exemption “is far more sustainable over the long-term,” the NAIFA and AALU officials write.