Dr. Boozman's Check-up

On Death and Taxes

Apr 17 2015

Benjamin Franklin once said, “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

That doesn’t mean death itself should be taxed.

Death should not force the sale of family farms or the closure of small businesses. Hardworking Americans should be allowed to pass along the results of their success, which they were already taxed on during their lifetime, to their families without having to pay even more to Washington when they pass away.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill to permanently abolish the estate tax, more commonly referred to as the death tax. It passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 240 to 179.

Over in the Senate, we recently approved an amendment to the Budget that encourages Congress to eliminate the death tax.  I supported that effort, but we still need to pass separate legislation that makes the repeal a reality.

That is why yesterday’s action in the House was so important. Likewise, a companion bill in the Senate, which I am cosponsoring, is of equal importance. I will be working with my colleagues to get either of these bills passed during the 114th Congress.  

According to a study by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, repealing the death tax would create 1.5 million additional small business jobs and would decrease the national unemployment rate by nearly one percent. This could be an important boost to our economy, which clearly continues to lag under the Obama Administration’s watch. Repeal of the death tax will allow job creators to grow their operations, instead setting aside those resources to pay an unfair penalty to Uncle Sam.

Part of the American Dream is to build an inheritance that will benefit our future generations. The death tax works against that idea by making planning and passing on family farms and businesses to the next generation even more difficult. That’s why the death tax needs to eliminated.