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Thornberry introduces the 'Death Tax Repeal Act'

Washington, January 4, 2017 | Jon Corley (202-225-3706)
U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) introduced his first bill of the 115th Congress. The “Death Tax Repeal Act,” H.R. 198, will completely and permanently repeal the federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping taxes. The bill already has garnered 44 cosponsors.

“This simple, two-page bill would permanently and fully eliminate the death tax, which undermines one of America’s most important means of capital formation: building a family enterprise,” said Thornberry. “Death should never be a taxable event. All Americans should be able to work hard, build, and save knowing that they can pass on what they have earned to their children and grandchildren.”

The death tax, also known as the inheritance tax or estate tax, requires families to turn over portions of an inheritance to the government. Small business owners, farmers, and ranchers are often particularly vulnerable to this tax, making it more difficult for future generations to build upon their family’s hard work.

A 2015 report from the Tax Foundation estimated that repealing the death tax would grow the economy by $137 billion or a 0.8 percent growth in gross domestic product. Additionally, that report estimated that approximately 150,000 additional jobs would be created in the decade after elimination.

Thornberry has introduced or cosponsored a bill to repeal the death tax consistently while serving in Congress. The House passed a similar measure in 2015, and with tax reform as a major priority for the new Congress and the new Administration, the prospects for a full death tax repeal are better than they have been in several years.

Among the groups most commonly associated with this effort are the National Association of Manufacturers, American Farm Bureau Federation, Independent Community Bankers of America, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Homebuilders, and National Pork Producers Council. But it is important to note the support from the National Black Chamber of Commerce, National Small Business Association, Public Lands Council, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, and the Hispanic Leadership Fund.