House Kicks Off Estate Tax Debate With Senate Today

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The House will formally begin a back and forth with the Senate today when it votes to pass legislation that would make the 2009 estate tax rate and exemption levels permanent. The bill (H.R. 4154) by Rep. Pomeroy would make permanent the current estate tax rate of 45 percent and the non-indexed exemption levels of $3.5 million for individuals ($7 million for couples). Some senators say that, at the very least, they prefer legislation where the exemption levels are indexed to inflation, while others prefer a lower tax rate and higher exemption levels. Groups on both sides of the issue line up to express support or opposition for the legislation.