The Senate has approved a 2010 budget blueprint amendment that would increase the permanent estate tax exemption to $5 million and cut the top tax rate to 35%.
But David Stertzer, chief executive officer of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, Falls Church, Va., is calling the provision “largely symbolic,” saying it was offset by another amendment added later, before the entire blueprint – or “concurrent resolution” — was passed by the Senate on a party-line vote.
The other amendment creates a point of order that would disallow any additional estate tax relief – beyond that which was contained in President Obama’s budget – unless an equal monetary amount of tax relief is first provided to individuals earning less than $100,000.
That amendment was introduced by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and passed by a vote of 56-43.
The final version of the concurrent resolution will help set the rules for how Congress will discuss appropriations, but it does not lead directly to actual appropriations.
In a bulletin to AALU members, Stertzer says it is important to note that “yesterday’s votes are nonbinding and it is very possible, if not likely, that they will be stripped from the final budget resolution.”
Lawmakers expect both houses of Congress to approve a concurrent resolution by the end of April.