Thursday, December 31, 2015
If there has been a war on any one tax in American history it has been on the estate tax, or death tax as it is colloquially known. Now, Tennessee joins the ranks of jurisdictions that have completely abolished the tax as its four year phase out is complete come January 1, 2016. The abolishment has been hailed by anti-tax groups as a victory for the free market and will purportedly encourage wealthy families to move to or remain in the state. However, the estate tax has become a hot political issue as candidates, such as the popular presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders, call for an increase of the tax and lowering of exemptions at the federal level. But the trend among the states, both Democratic and Republican leaning, has been to lower or abolish the tax which bodes well for opponents of the death levy. But, as with many things, only time will tell the ultimate direction the political winds will blow.
See Andy Sher, Tennessee says goodbye to death (tax) on Jan. 1, The Times Free Press, December 30. 2015.