Castillo pledges repeal of "death tax"

Just in time for tax day, Olympia Republican David Castillo announced Wednesday that he has signed the “death tax repeal pledge,” a vow to vote for permanent repeal of the federal estate tax if he is elected to Congress. Castillo is running for the 3rd Congressional District seat being vacated by Democrat Brian Baird.

The announcement came from the nonprofit American Family Business Institute, which represents farmers and business owners. The institute estimates that repeal would create 1.5 million new jobs.

“Castillo understands that the death tax penalizes family farmers and business owners when they die,” said institute president Dick Patten in a statement. The tax is levied on the net value of a deceased person’s estate, including all personal and business assets, before distribution of assets to heirs.

The tax automatically expired this year, but the U.S. House voted in December to permanently extend it. The Senate has not yet acted. As things stand now, the tax will return on all assets over $1 million in 2011 unless Congress acts to suspend it again.

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