Herrera, Castillo sign “death tax” pledge

Republican 3rd Congressional District candidates David Castillo and state Rep. Jaime Herrera have both signed a so-called “death tax repeal pledge,” promising to vote for permanent repeal of the federal estate tax when it comes up for a vote next year.

The American Family Business Institute, which opposes the tax, recently released a study that claims repealing it permanently would create 1.5 million jobs nationwide and nearly 34,000 in Washington state.

The estate tax is a tax on the net value of a decedent’s estate, including all personal and business assets, before distribution to heirs. Because business assets are included, the institute says, the tax hits family business owners and farmers especially hard.

The estate tax expired this year but is scheduled to return in 2011 at a rate of 55 percent on all assets over $1 million unless Congress acts first. The issue is expected to trigger a heated legislative battle.

Kathie Durbin

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