Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., introduced legislation Tuesday to shore up the Social Security trust fund by raising the estate tax to 2009 levels.
Van Hollen’s Strengthen Social Security by Taxing Dynastic Wealth Act would deposit all of the revenues raised by increasing the top estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes back to 2009 levels, as follows:
- Increasing the top estate and gift tax rate from 40% to 45%;
- Exempting the first $3.5 million of an individual’s estate from estate taxes ($7 million for married couples);
- Setting the lifetime exemption limit for gifts at $1 million for an individual ($2 million for married couples); and
- Maintaining the generation-skipping transfer tax as an anti-abuse measure to prevent circumvention of estate taxes, and as under current law, the parameters of that tax would conform to the new estate tax parameters.
Van Hollen also introduced the Social Security 2100 Act, which would strengthen the program over the long term while expanding benefits.