Killing the 'death tax'?

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Congress is back to debating the estate tax this week. Right now, the tax that heirs have to pay is slowly being scaled back. But some Republicans want what they call the "death tax" to . . . die. As Scott Tong reports, others are looking for a compromise.

SCOTT TONG: Republican senator John Kyl is pushing a Plan B, to lock in the estate tax at a low rate for as few people as possible.

Congresswatcher John Fortier of the American Enterprise Institute says if the GOP doesn't negotiate now, it gets tougher after the November elections.

JOHN FORTIER: The Republican majorities will certainly be smaller or potentially one house of the other could be in the minority for Republicans.

The Kyl compromise would apply to estates over $5 million. And the tax rate would top out at 15%.

But Democratic dealmakers are talking 35% or more.

Question is, do enough senators want a deal? Lee Faris of United for a Fair Economy says many on the right just want play election-year politics with the repeal vote.

LEE FARIS: As a way to decide which senate democrats they will target.

And most on the left want to stall and return with more bargaining power next year.

In Washington, I'm Scott Tong for Marketplace.

About the author

Scott Tong is a correspondent for Marketplace’s sustainability desk, with a focus on energy, environment, resources, climate, supply chain and the global economy.

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