Republican Camp Says Estate Tax Won’t Be Changed in Plan

Republican Representative Dave Camp won’t attempt to change estate and gift taxes as he tries to make the biggest alterations to the U.S. tax system since 1986.

“I don’t think that policy needs the reform that the rest of the code does,” the chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee told reporters in the Capitol today.

Many Republicans and business groups want to repeal the estate tax, and they spent more than a decade trying to achieve that goal. The tax disappeared in 2010 under a temporary law before returning in 2011, and repeal is unlikely with a Democratic Senate and president.

Congress this year set the top estate rate at 40 percent with a $5.25 million per-person exemption that’s indexed for inflation. That means about 0.1 percent of people who die this year will owe estate taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center in Washington.

The tax will raise about $14.2 billion this year, according to the center.

President Barack Obama wants to lower the exemption to $3.5 million and raise the top rate to 45 percent starting in 2018. Along with other changes proposed by Obama, this would increase estate and gift taxes by $79 billion over the next decade, according to the Treasury Department.

Camp, of Michigan, had said he would release a tax bill this year that would lower individual and corporate income tax rates and curtail tax breaks. In recent weeks, he has suggested that he may miss that deadline.

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