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House Passes Bill Tying Estate Tax Cut to Minimum Wage Hike

  • July 31st, 2006

Just before adjourning for their summer recess, House Republicans pushed through a bill cutting estate taxes for the wealthiest Americans while increasing the minimum wage for the poorest by $2.10 over three years.

The measure was assailed by Democrats as a cynical ploy to give Republicans the appearance of supporting an increase in the minimum wage without any danger of having it actually enacted. Sen. Harry Reid (NV), the Democratic leader in the Senate, promised that the bill would be killed when the Senate takes it up this week because of the estate tax provisions, which would exempt from taxation $5 million of an individual's estate and $10 million of a couple's by 2015.

The House also passed a bill that supporters say would strengthen pension plans that cover 44 million people. Its prospects in the Senate are better than those of the estate tax-minimum wage bill.

Meanwhile, the New York Times recently reported that the Bush administration is cutting by nearly half the number of lawyers at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) who audit the estate tax returns of some of the wealthiest Americans. Some within the agency are charging that the job cuts are a back-door way for the administration to achieve what it can't achieve legislatively '“ complete repeal of the estate tax. For details, click here.

For a Boston Globe article on the House bill that would reduce the estate tax and increase the minimum wage, click here.

For a San Francisco Chronicle article on the pension reform bill, click here.

For more background on the recent legislative push to exempt the estates of many wealthy estates from paying any tax, click here.

Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA

Margaret O'Reilly

Margaret A. O'Reilly, PC
Herndon, VA

Susan Pollack

Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
Falls Church, VA

Mindy Felinton

Felinton Elder Law & Estate Planning Centers
Rockville, MD


Last Modified: 07/31/2006

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