Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, December 3, 2012

Divisiveness Among Democrats Could Undercut Obama's Estate Tax Proposal

CongressAs I have previously discussed earlier today, President Obama made his offer to House Republicans on what he believes the estate tax exemption and the estate tax rate should be on property passed at death. I also discussed how certain members of the Democrat party have opted to support maintaining the estate tax at its current levels. The most notable member of Congress to do this was Democrat and Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus. Some argue that this disagreement among Democrats in Congress will likely hurt President Obama's efforts to reform the estate tax.

The problem for President Obama is that some Democrats, Senators "Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas," understand and agree with the concerns of farmers and ranchers, who account for only a small amount of people who actually incur an estate tax. In fact, according to the Joint Committee on Tax, only 100 of the 3600 estates who incurred an estate tax were farming estates. This is a problem for President Obama because historically the Republicans have benefited from a division among the democrats on the issue of the estate tax. 

See Kim Dixon, Analysis: Democrats' Discord Undercuts Obama Estate Tax Push, Nov. 30, 2012.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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