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Legislation to permanently repeal the federal estate tax, better known as the “death tax”—which imposes a tax rate as high as 40 percent on family businesses, farms and ranches upon the death of an owner—is pending in the U.S. Senate.

The bill, reintroduced by Senate Finance Committee member John Thune (R-S.D.), is identical to legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas).

On April 21, the House voted 240-179 to repeal the federal estate tax, a move supported by small business advocacy groups. The White House has threatened a veto in part because it would increase the federal budget deficit.

On March 26, the Senate adopted Thune’s amendment to the Fiscal Year 2016 budget resolution to create a deficit-neutral reserve fund to eliminate the death tax.

The Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 is cosponsored in the Senate by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and David Vitter (R-La.).

“Death should not be a taxable event,” Thune stated. “For too long, the federal government has forced grieving families to pay a tax on their loved one’s life savings that has been built from income already taxed when originally earned. Currently more than 70 percent of family businesses do not survive to the second generation, and 90 percent of family businesses do not survive to the third generation.”

“According to a study by former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, repealing the death tax would create 1.5 million additional small business jobs and would shave almost a percentage point off the unemployment rate. This tax punishes farmers and entrepreneurs for a lifetime of hard work. I will continue to work in Congress to see a permanent end to this unfair tax,” Thune said.

Thune’s bill is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, Associated Builders and Contractors, National Association of Manufacturers, National Federation of Independent Business, 60 Plus Association, Americans for Tax Reform, Club for Growth, National Black Chamber of Commerce, International Franchise Association, National Taxpayers Union, American Conservative Union and the Family Business Coalition.

According to the Joint Congressional Committee on Taxation, repealing the estate tax would cost the federal government $14.6 billion in 2016 and a total of $269 billion during the next 10 years.

Currently, the estates of more than $5.43 million for individuals or $10.86 million for couples are taxed at rates of up to 40 percent. In all, less than 1 percent of estates meet those thresholds, according to the federal government.

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