I realize this is not, strictly speaking, beer news, but given the NBWA’s unrelenting efforts to help their rich members avoid paying taxes, and my diatribe about it two days ago, I wanted to update the story. Today, the Senate voted to “reject a Republican effort to abolish taxes on inherited estates during an election year with control of Congress at stake,” according today’s San Francisco Chronicle. The vote was three short of the votes needed to advance the bill.
Also from the Chronicle article:
“The estate tax is an extremely costly tax for a wealthy few that comes at the expense of every other American born and yet to be born for decades to come,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Under current law this year, the first $2 million of a person’s estate or $4 million of a couple’s, escapes taxation. The remainder can be taxed at rates up to 46 percent.
According to the most recent statistics available from the Internal Revenue Service, 1.17 percent of people who died in 2002 left a taxable estate.
“Repealing the estate tax during this time of fiscal crisis would be incredibly irresponsible and intellectually dishonest,” Sen. George Voinovich (R) of Ohio said.
Unsurprisingly, the NBWA wasted no time expressing their displeasure with the Senate vote. From their press release:
“We are disappointed about today’s vote regarding a permanent solution to the death tax which hurts small family-owned businesses. Make no mistake about it. Those Senators who previously supported death tax repeal and today opposed this effort to proceed to H.R. 8 are standing in the way of a permanent solution. Those Senators that voted “no” on cloture have essentially voted “yes” to increase the death tax to 55 percent in 2011.
“On behalf of America’s beer distributors, we will continue to work with Congress on a permanent solution to the death tax that will allow small business owners to plan for the continuation of their businesses with certainty and without fear of a looming death tax threat that could mean the death of the family business.”
Oh, those poor rich families. They may be family-owned, but small they’re not. But I guess money makes people do and say crazy things. So the spin machine is again in high gear. I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of this issue.