Estate tax relief legislation submitted by Thompson
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#1 Jun 4, 2010
Tax breaks for people who put conservation easements on their land is a great idea. If you're really scared of development on your land, this is what to do. A lot of people who gripe about the estate tax say that it will force them to let people develop on their land, but then they don't put an easement on it. This is because they want to sell this land to developers after they inherit it. If you sell shortly after inheritance, you can avoid a potentially huge capital gains tax. All the value appreciated on an asset during the decedent's lifetime is no longer taxable as capital gain once the asset is bequeathed.
Many executors who make the "don't want to develop" gripe really do want to sell to developers, but they also want to avoid having to pay the estate tax. Sounds like having your cake and eating it too to me. Estate tax exemptions for land on conservation easements would really mitigate this complaint.
A strong estate tax is very important in general. It is the most progressive tax in our federal system and at 2009 exemption levels it only affected less than 1 percent of all estates.
Check out United for a Fair Economy. They have some very interesting ideas on why we need a strong estate tax.
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