WASHINGTON – The House voted Wednesday to eliminate federal estate taxes in 2010 and beyond, a repeal that Republicans hailed but many Democrats said would reward the richest families at the steep cost of deeper federal deficits.
House lawmakers voted 272-162 to prevent the tax on inherited estates from reappearing after its one-year disappearance in 2010. The bill would end the tax at a cost of roughly $290 billion over the next decade.
The House has passed bills repealing the tax several times since enacting the 2001 law that lifted the tax for a year. Those bills have languished in the Senate. Supporters hope a bigger Republican majority there could mean the difference this year.
National Federation of Independent Business President Jack Faris said millions of small businesses are “looking for senators who are committed to supporting full repeal.”
President Bush called the elimination “a matter of basic fairness.” He said, “The death tax results in the double taxation of many family assets while hurting the source of most new jobs in this country – America’s small business and farms.”