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Only 40 Kentucky Estates Would Be Affected By Repeal Of Estate Tax This Year

Ervins Strauhmanis/Creative Commons

Kentucky only has about 40 estates that would benefit this year from repealing the federal estate tax, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

U.S. House Republicans are pushing to repeal the tax, which taxes assets left by the deceased at a rate of 40 percent.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that repealing the tax would reduce revenues by about $269 billion over the next decade.

Kentucky Center for Economic Policy director Jason Bailey said repealing the tax would hurt Kentuckians because of the state’s dependence on federal assistance.

“Kentucky’s economy, our communities, our quality of life really depend on federal resources coming back to us, and when those federal resources are cut because of tax cuts, particularly misguided tax cuts that benefit the super-rich as the estate tax does, that harms the state,” Bailey said.

Estates that are less than $5.43 million for a single person and $10.9 million for married couples are exempted from the tax.

According to the CBPP, only .2 percent of estates in the country currently have to pay the estate tax.

A total of 5,400 estates are expected to pay the tax this year, the states with the most qualifying estates are California (970), Florida (660) and New York (430).

One Kentucky estate that was required to pay the tax was that of railroad tycoon R.J. Corman, who died in 2013.

The Herald-Leader reported that Corman’s estate was valued at $270 million, meaning the federal government would have taken $108 million in tax receipts.

David Irvin, the attorney who represents Corman’s estate, said he was in favor of repealing the tax because it hurts businesses owned by families.

“Which is better for the economy: to put that business on the block and part it out to pay estate taxes or keep it going and keep 1,500 people employed?” Irvin said.

The R.J. Corman Railroad Group employs about 1,500. Irvin said through careful management, the family was able to “overcome the obstacles.”

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