Berkley leading charge to change death tax

Congress can’t agree on how to handle the issue of updating the way estates are taxed, Congressional Quarterly reports.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., leads a moderate faction seeking to reduce the top tax rate and increase the threshold for exemption to estates valued at $5 million and index it to inflation.

Here’s what CQ says: "Congress is under extreme pressure to act by the end of the year. If it does nothing, current law will make the estate tax disappear on Jan. 1, only to return in 2011 at higher rates and lower exemptions. Few lawmakers are eager to pass a retroactive bill that would tax people after they die and after their estates are already distributed."

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