Colorado\’s legislature passes resolution instructing its members of Congress to permanently repeal the death tax.

WASHINGTON – The Death Tax is broadly opposed by over 70 percent of the American people. But Congress, which is a lagging indicator of public opinion, is not geting the point.

Or so says the Colorado legislature. On March 11, 2003 the Colorado State House passed Senate Joint Resolution 17 calling on Colorado\’s Congressional delegation to permanently repeal the federal estate tax. The Colorado House followed the lead of the Senate, which passed the resolution on February 18th. Following the leadership of Sen. Entz (R-5) and Rep. Stengel (R-38), S.J.R. 17 passed with a voice vote.

This resolution refers to President Bush\’s historic 2001 tax relief plan, which repealed the tax, but due to obscure Congressional rules, the tax will retreat to Clinton-era, 2001 levels on Jan. 1st 2011. It is estimated that more than 70 percent of family businesses do not survive the second generation and 87 percent do not survive the third generation, mostly due to the Death Tax.

State legislatures across the nation have become increasingly vocal on the subject. Since January, eight state legislative bodies have passed similar resolutions and 16 other state legislative bodies have the resolution introduced.

"The Death Tax is the worst kind of double taxation," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads the Washington, DC-based Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). "You work your whole life, pay taxes on your earnings, pay sales taxes on the things you buy, capital gains on the house you sell and once you die, Big Brother Government steps in to take up to another 50 percent."

In 2002, the U.S. House passed a bill to permanently repeal the death tax by 256 to 171 vote. Yet, the Senate resisted the motion and in June of 2002 voted to permanently repeal the Death Tax by a 54 to 44 margin, but did not achieve the necessary 3/5 vote required to wave the Congressional Budget Act. Two of Colorado\’s congressmen, Reps. Diana DeGette (D-1) and Mark Udall (D- 2) voted against the permanent repeal of the death tax during the 107th Congress. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R) and Rep. Joel Hefley (R-5) are members of the End the Death Tax Caucus in Washington, DC.

"Reps. DeGette and Udall are playing to their big government Washington constituencies and have obviously lost touch with those they serve back home," continued Norquist.