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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Sunday Spin2: Clarifying on the estate tax

Last Sunday’s column on possible budget movement in the moribund Legislature included a brief reference to a recently passed change in the estate tax designed to overcome a state Supreme Court ruling that was about to require refunds to some families.


A member of one of those families took us to taxk for the short-handed way the a so-called “technical glitch” in the estate tax law was described, and thought it made the families who stood to get refunds seem like “a bunch of wealthy people trying to dodge a legitimate tax.”


If anyone drew that inference, it was not the intent. The trusts were set up in good faith and people who challenged the law obviously had firm legal ground on which to stand. Although the column didn’t mention it, previous stories on the estate tax problem pointed out that many people, including some legislators, doubt whether the new law can be applied retroactively.


That’s something for at least five members of the state Supreme Court to decide. I wouldn’t bet on the outcome of such a challenge, but am willing to offer very good odds there will be one.

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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