Blunt, GOP colleagues introduce bill to lower rate of estate tax

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) on Jan. 17 joined fellow Republicans to introduce legislation that would reduce the tax rate on estates, gifts and generation-skipping transfers, according to the congressional record.

“The current estate tax is often a crushing blow to family businesses and farmers who are trying to plan for the future,” Sen. Blunt said. “This legislation will bring relief to family farms and businesses as they transition from one generation to the next.”

The Estate Tax Rate Reduction Act, S. 176, would reduce the estate tax to 20 percent, which Sen. Blunt said in a statement is the same as the current capital gains tax rate. U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) sponsored S. 176 and U.S. Sens. John Boozman (R-AR) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) joined Sen. Blunt as original cosponsors of the measure.

“Families shouldn’t have to sell major portions of their businesses or farms after the death of a parent just to afford the 40 percent estate tax,” said Sen. Cotton. “Breaking apart a family’s livelihood is neither fair or good for the economy, especially since families are often forced to sell to large corporations.”

S. 176, he added, would cut the rate in half, “bringing the rate in line with the current capital gains rate and making it much easier to preserve a family’s legacy and way of life.”

Sen. Boozman said family farmers and small business owners view the current tax as a threat to passing on their businesses and assets to the next generation.

“Reducing the rate of the estate tax is another step in the right direction and builds on previous efforts to reduce this burden for families,” said Sen. Boozman.

S. 176 has been referred for consideration to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.