U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today praised the Senate’s adoption of his amendment to the Fiscal Year 2016 budget resolution to create a deficit neutral reserve fund to eliminate the death tax by issuing the following statement:
“Senate Republican’s budget is a framework for more efficient, effective, and accountable government, which is why it was so important that we take steps to eliminate barriers to small business survival and growth by passing this important amendment that will help to repeal the death tax. Imposing a tax rate as high as 40 percent on savings is not just bad for the economy, it’s unfair to families that have saved and built job-creating small businesses in their local communities. I’m pleased the Senate acted today in favor of this common-sense amendment, and hope we can continue promoting policies that give farmers, ranchers, and family business owners peace of mind of knowing that they no longer have to spend substantial sums on planning to minimize their death tax liability.”Yesterday, Thune introduced his Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 to permanently repeal the federal estate tax, better known as the death tax. The death tax would impose a tax rate as high as 40 percent on family businesses, farms, and ranches, hurting economic growth by discouraging savings and small business development. Based on U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics on cropland values, roughly one-third of South Dakota farms remain vulnerable to the death tax. Studies, including one from the Joint Economic Committee, indicate that ending the estate tax would actually increase overall federal tax revenue by encouraging more investment. A recent study by the non-partisan Tax Foundation found that repeal of the estate tax would increase the U.S. capital stock by 2.2 percent, boost GDP, create 139,000 jobs, and eventually increase federal revenue.