On April 2, 2009 the Senate voted 51 to 48 to adopt Amendment #873, co-sponsored by Blanch L. Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Jon Kyle (R-Ariz.). The Amendment looks to:
(1) Lower the Estate Tax Rate to 35 percent,
(2) Raise the Estate Tax Exemption to $5 million, indexed for inflation,
(3) Unify the Estate and Gift Tax Credits, and
(4) Provide for portability of the Exemptions between spouses.
Confusingly, the Amendment does the above “provided that such legislation would not increase the deficit over either the period of the total fiscal years 2009 through 2014, or the period of the total fiscal years 2009 through 2019.”
Of Course, we figure that any tax reduction would increase the deficit, so it makes no sense that a bill would be passed which would not have effect-it likely represents a republican/conservative attempt to reinforce and clarify their position during the debates which will surround this issue in coming months (or years). So: we can take this as simple posturing, but it represents a view of the fall back position of the formerly powerful advocates of estate tax repeal.