Today Rep. Eric Massa voted to pass H.R. 4154, the Permanent Estate Tax Relief for Families, Farmers and Small Businesses Act of 2009. The Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act maintains the current estate tax exemption for inheritances of less than $3.5 million per individual ($7 million for married couples). The Estate Tax was originally introduced over 100 years ago by Republican President Teddy Roosevelt. The bill passed by a vote of 225-200.
"I'm proud that we were able to pass this bill which will create tax relief for 99.75% of all small businesses, farms and working families," said Rep. Eric Massa. "This bill is designed to ensure stability and fairness in our tax code and will exempt all but .003% of all family farms and small businesses in the 29th Congressional District from the estate tax. This bill is deficit neutral and ensures a common sense tax code."
Here are some interesting statistics about how the Estate Tax applies to New York's 29th Congressional District.
* Tax Policy Center has estimated that only 80 family farms and small businesses will owe any estate tax liability in 2009 (0.003% of all estates)
* According to the Tax Foundation, federal estate tax collections for New York state in 2007 impacted only 0.007% of the state's population
* The Tax Foundation has reported that for the NY-29 District in 2004, estate and gift tax collections for the entire district population were just $31 per household. This figure is among the lowest per household estate tax burdens out of every Congressional district in the United States, meaning that the 29th typically has one of the lowest estate tax burdens in the country.
* According to the Tax Policy Center, the few farms that do have estate tax liability are allowed to evaluate their property at its "current-use value, rather than its fair market value," a reduction allowed up to $1 million. Farms can opt to pay only interest for the first 5 years and then pay the rest in 10 year installments. Available exemptions are so extensive that only a quarter of the miniscule number of farms that owe the tax have to pay at all.