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NJ: Legislators trying to make the death tax a lot less certain

Ben Franklin’s old aphorism, that the only certain things are death and taxes, continues to ring true in New Jersey. However, some state legislators, supported by Americans for Prosperity and other groups, are trying to repeal New Jersey’s estate tax.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

American for Prosperity and supporting legislators and groups gathered on the steps of New Jersey’s state capitol Monday afternoon to support two bills that would try and phase out New Jersey’s estate tax over the course of five years.

These two bills, A329 and S353, are sponsored by Republican State Senator Steve Oroho and Democratic State Senator Paul Sarlo, according to Forbes.

Oroho, who was among the throng at the capitol on Monday, also has another bill, S1311, co-sponsored with Democrat Jeff Van Drew, that would eliminate the inheritance tax and raise the archaic $675,000 threshold to the current federal estate tax threshold of $5.34 million.

Overall, there are 13 proposals currently facing the New Jersey state legislature to reform the inheritance tax, estate tax, or both. The full rundown of those reform bills can be found at Forbes.

Sen. Oroho, in PolitickerNJ, stated that “We want those contributions here, we want that capital here.”

Anti-tax advocates say the estate tax and inheritance tax in New Jersey and in states like Maryland (the only other state to have both an estate and inheritance tax) drive retired people and capital out of the state, hurting local commerce. The low threshold and the possibility of real-estate being included in the overall tax hurts not only the rich but the middle class as well.

Other states have recently made changes to their death taxes, gradually phasing out the tax or raising the threshold to federal levels over a similar period of time. Indiana and North Carolina both repealed the estate tax in 2013, leaving only 19 states as having a separate state estate tax.

Federal politicians have also gotten involved in attempts to repeal the death tax. Yesterday, for example, Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ, NJ-07), joined a coalition of thirty lawmakers to try and repeal the federal estate tax.

In his press release, Lance was quoted as saying “The federal death tax discourages savings and investment, undermines job creation and suppresses productivity and wage growth.  With our nation’s economy struggling it’s time to finally repeal the death tax.”

Featured image by Shutterstock.

Brad Matthews

Brad Matthews is the Digital Content Coordinator intern for Watchdog Wire. Twitter is @bradmatthewsDC

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Categories: Budget and Finance, Must Read, Tax


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