The House this afternoon approved, by a 225-to-220 vote, a measure to keep the current estate tax law in place permanently. That's a 45 percent tax on estates in excess of $3.5 million per individual ($7 million for married couples).
Of course, Congress doesn't always operate under the same definitional boundaries as the rest of us. Witness how it describes a "first-time" home buyer.
So when someone on Capitol Hill says that something is permanent, that pronouncement is likely to prompt at least a smirk from legislative veterans.
Still, today's vote was a step in that direction. But, as I noted in yesterday's post The estate tax, a Dickens of a law, any further progress toward a long-term estate tax, at least right now, could be halted by the Senate.
Any bill passed by that body must be reconciled with the just-passed House measure and then that voted on before it can be signed into law by the President.
There's less estate tax consensus on the Senate side of
Plus, since the Senate doesn't plan to take up the measure for a few more weeks, interested groups and lobbyists will have more time to jawbone lawmakers about what they want or don't want in the estate tax.
- The estate tax, a Dickens of a law
- The heiress, farmer and estate taxes
- Death and taxes will continue
- A tax by any other name
- Estate tax exemption hike, rate cut
- R.I.P. estate tax ... maybe (Bankrate.com)
- Estate tax is back ... almost (Eye on the IRS)
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