June 09, 2006

Estate Tax Win!

Yesterday, a procedural vote in the United States Senate failed by a 57-41 vote, ensuring that the federal estate tax will not be fully repealed. Congratulations to the U.S. Senators who decided that estate tax repeal is not in the interest of the vast majority of Americans.

The failure of the cloture vote sends an important signal to Congress and the Bush Administration that Americans are concerned about the growing inequality of wealth in America—and that we believe the estate tax can play an important role in preventing the creation of a new American aristocracy. For a look a brief that studies growing wealth inequality click here.

However, we're not out of the woods yet. Senate tax writers are currently negotiating "compromise" legislation that could cost nearly as much as full repeal. Reducing the federal estate tax rate to 15 percent or even to the 30 percent top rate proposed most recently by Senator Kyl (R-AZ) would offer huge tax cuts to the largest estates, with little or no benefit to smaller estates. Instead of enacting further tax cuts, Congress should undo the damaging estate tax cuts enacted, at the Bush administration’s request, in 2001.

To view a full statement about yesterday's vote from Citizens for Tax Justice click here.

Interested to see how your Senators voted?

Four Senators crossed party lines and voted for debating estate tax repeal.
Here's a list of those Senators complete with links to their offices:

Max Baucus (Montana)
Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas)
Ben Nelson (Nebraska)
Bill Nelson (Florida)

Two Republicans crossed party lines and voted against
debating full repeal of the tax.
Lincoln Chafee (Rhode Island)
George Voinovich (Ohio)

Two Senators didn't participate in the vote:

Charles Schumer (New York) and Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia)

Did your Senators vote the right way? If so, be sure to tell them thank you! Click here to contact your Senators.


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