Why Republicans May Keep the Estate Tax After All

Why Republicans May Keep the Estate Tax After All

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times

It looks like Republicans may not be able to repeal the estate tax, although they will almost certainly succeed in reducing it significantly.

The House tax bill doubles the exemption on the estate tax immediately and then eliminates it entirely in 2024, striking a fatal blow against the “death tax” that has been the object of Republican ire for decades.

The Senate version also doubles the exemption — up to roughly $11 million for individuals and $22 million for married couples — but leaves it intact at that level.

Last week, dozens of House conservatives lobbied congressional leaders to push for full repeal, but senators on the tax committee are reportedly resisting.

The issue is simple: revenue. Leaving the modified estate tax in place raises about $68 billion over 10 years, revenue the tax writers sorely need as they bump against the $1.5 trillion limit on losses imposed by the Senate.