Repealing 'death tax' helps family businesses, not Warren Buffet

Monday, January 13, 2014
Chris Woodward (

An organization wants to force a vote this year on the Death Tax Repeal Act. 

The "death tax," or estate tax as it is formally known, is a tax on your right to transfer property at your death. It consists of an accounting of everything you own or have certain interests in at the time of death.

Brady, Kevin (R-TX)The Death Tax Repeal Act was introduced in 2013 by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX).

Palmer Schoening is executive director with the Family Business Coalition, the organization seeking a vote. The "death tax" laws has changed approximately 12 times in recent years, he says.

"The Bush tax cuts put the law on a 10-year schedule for eventual repeal. We were able to usher in a death tax-free year in 2010," Schoening reports.

The exemption has been raised to $5 million, but President Obama announced he wanted to lower the exemption and raise the tax rate to 45 percent, says the Family Business spokesman.

Some organizations, most of them liberal, want an estate tax.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, for example, says only the richest .14 percent of estates pay an estate tax.

OneNewsNow questioned Schoening about that, and he says it's an issue that "fits neatly into the class warfare-type talking points."


Schoening adds that, in reality, this is a transfer of wealth from the family business sector to the ultra-wealthy, multi-national corporations that billionaire proponents like Warren Buffett profit from through products protecting families against the estate tax.

Schoening also says the federal estate tax is only one-third of one percent of the federal budget.

Others groups that have come out in support of the Death Tax Repeal Act include the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

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