The Disgusting Death Tax

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 24-11-2009

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Think we have a moral government? What kind of government tries to pillage families when a loved one passes? That is what the government does with the death tax.

Kevin Hancock simply wants to harvest trees — sustainably — and create jobs in the process. The federal government may put a stop to all that.

His business, Hancock Lumber, has been in the family for six generations. It owns 30,000 acres of Maine timberland and employs 550 people. But Kevin already knows that when his elderly mother dies, he’ll have to sell off huge swaths of his land to pay the ensuing tax bill.

He recently warned a Senate committee that “once it has been sold to a developer, it will be parceled off and will no longer be maintained as publicly open forests. This is particularly a shame in southern Maine, where green space and curtailment of sprawl is a major political issue.”

It’s an example of the long reach of the death tax — the penalty families have to pay when a loved one dies and leaves them significant assets. Yet, for Hancock and many others, some relief may be in sight.

In 2001, lawmakers passed a law that gradually phased out the levy. The death tax has been stepped down from 55 percent (for those in the top tax bracket) eight years ago to 45 percent. But that gradual decline was just a prelude for 2010, when the tax will — finally — disappear altogether.

Unfortunately, like the killer in so many slasher movies, the death tax could return to menace family businesses again in 2011. Unless Congress acts, it’s scheduled to return to the obscene 55 percent rate after next year.

via Time to bury the ‘death tax’ – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Wonder how many of the 550 people Hancock Lumber will have to layoff when they have to sell off their land to pay Uncle Sam? I wonder how many employees are hoping that Kevin Hancock’s mother dies next year, so they don’t lose their jobs? The death tax is completely immoral. Taxes have already been paid as the wealth was earned, and yet they try to take huge chunks of it from the very people the deceased person worked to hard to save for.

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