Sen. DeMint Proposes Permanent Repeal of Estate Tax, Seeks Vote

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Sen. DeMint becomes the latest member of Congress to enter the estate tax debate, unveiling an amendment to the small business bill (H.R. 5297) that would permanently repeal the tax. The estate tax expired Dec. 31 and, absent congressional action, the tax will rebound to 55 percent in 2011, with an exemption level of $1 million. President Obama, House Democrats, and a number of Senate Democrats support extending the 45 percent tax rate and $3.5 million exemption level from 2009. Speaking in opposition to repealing the estate tax, Sen. Sanders says such a plan would increase the national debt by more than $1 trillion over 10 years. Finance Committee Chairman Baucus tells BNA he does not expect the estate tax to be handled as part of the small business bill, saying it will likely be added to legislation to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.