Americans for Tax Reform sent the following letter today to Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX):

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform, I am pleased to support H.R. 3905, “The Estate Tax Relief Act of 2009.”  While it falls short of our goal of full death tax repeal, it remains a tax cut relative to current law.

As you know, the death tax is scheduled to be reduced to a rate of “0” in 2010, only to shoot up to 55 percent in 2011.  Full repeal of the death tax remains the goal.  However, should full repeal not be possible, the next priority for taxpayers must be to avoid a tax increase relative to current law.

H.R. 3905 is a death tax cut relative to current law.  The bill calls for a ten-year, phased in reduction of the death tax rate—from 45 percent in 2009 to 35 percent in 2019.  Furthermore, the death tax exclusion rises from $3.5 million in 2009 to $5 million in 2019 (indexed to inflation after that).  This would be a permanent cut in the death tax, and moves closer to full repeal than current law would.

H.R. 3905 would score as a net tax cut relative to current law, which assumes a 55 percent death tax rate and a $1 million exemption level—permanently.  Repeal of the death tax would be preferable to H.R. 3905, but this bill is superior to current law after 2010.

I look forward to continuing to work with you and our other allies on Capitol Hill to fully repeal the death tax.

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