Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley supports repealing the estate tax because it “recognizes the people that are investing.”
“I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies,” Grassley told the Des Moines Register.
The estate tax is a 40 percent tax imposed on wealth when a person dies. It currently applies to assets above $5.5 million for individuals and $11 million for couples.
The Senate tax bill doubles the estate tax exemption while the House bill eliminates it entirely in 2024. The differences between the Senate and House bills will be worked out in a conference committee.
Grassley has long opposed the estate tax, saying it’s “harder than ever for families to pass down the family-run farm or business from one generation to the next.”
He said it unfairly taxes a person’s earnings twice — once when they earn it and again when they die.
“My point regarding the estate tax, which has been taken out of context, is that the government shouldn’t seize the fruits of someone’s lifetime of labor after they die," Grassley said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. "The question is one of basic fairness, and working to create a tax code that doesn’t penalize frugality, saving and investment. That’s as true for family farmers who have to break up their operations to pay the IRS following the death of a loved one as it is for parents saving for their children’s college education or working families investing and saving for their retirement.”