Assembly leaders agree on cutting estate taxes


By Len Lazarick

Democratic leaders have agreed to reduce Maryland’s high estate tax by recoupling it to federal standards for taxing a dead person’s assets. The “death tax” is considered one of the reasons that wealthy retirees choose to leave Maryland for states with lower taxes.

“We’re going to phase out the estate tax,” Senate President Mike Miller not quite accurately told a conference of the Maryland Economic Development Association Thursday, “and raise it to the federal level.”

“I hope we’re going to move forward on the inheritance and estate tax,” Miller said.

House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch, speaking on the same panel of Assembly leaders, said, “I think we have to recouple with the federal government … I think it is a fairness issue.”

The move would have cut Maryland taxes by $14 million this fiscal year and by as much as $87 million four years from now. The estate and inheritance tax represents less than 2 percent of all Maryland revenues, about $227 million this year. Very few estates actually pay any taxes.

Read more at Maryland Reporter

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