Senate Votes on Death Tax Repeal
August 4, 2010
On July 22, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) introduced a measure that forced a vote on death tax repeal which was rejected 39-59. Senators Lincoln (D-AR) and Nelson (D-NE) joined 37 republicans in voting to repeal the tax. Senators Baucus (D-MT), Voinovich (R-OH), Wyden (D-OR), Nelson (D-FL), Snowe (R-ME) , Collins (R-ME), Specter (D-PA), Landrieu (D-LA), and Feinstein (D-CA) all previously having voted for repeal, voted against DeMint’s measure. Senators Bayh (D-IN) and Vitter (R-LA) missed the vote.
The Forest Landowners Association (FLA) believes that the next best option to full repeal is a compromise offered by Senators Kyl (R-AZ) and Lincoln (D-AR) for a 35% rate and $5 million exemption. This option was offered as an amendment to the Small Business Lending Bill, but was blocked from being brought to the floor by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV). Senator Reid, who faces a tough re-election battle for Senate in Nevada, publicly favors a 45% tax and $3.5 million exemption, but is working behind the scenes to allow repeal to expire in 2011 – sticking small businesses, ranches and landowners with a 55% death tax rate over only a $1 million exemption.
On July 19, FLA and the Forest Landowners Tax Council together prepared a letter to Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) to show support from the forestry community for their initiative to offer relief from the impending 2011 Death Tax reinstatement.
In the letter, they stated that they believe that with the current political climate advocating full repeal of the tax will not succeed, and instead yield 2011 tax rates which are unbearable to private forest landowners. The forestry community agreed.
A total of 53 forestry, logger, and mill-owner associations signed onto the letter that was delivered by FLA Lobbyist Frank Stewart to the sponsoring Senators and then faxed to all U.S. Senators.
We would like to thank the hundreds of FLA members who contacted their Senators. We encourage you to continue to have your voice heard by contacting your Senators and asking them to support the Lincoln/Kyl Death Tax amendment.