Today, I want to discuss the lack of action on estate tax reform.
Most of you know this about me - for as many years as I have been a representative of the people of Iowa, I have never believed that death should be a taxable event.
Taxing people’s assets upon their death is just plain wrong, and their heirs should not be forced to sell a single asset in order to meet this arbitrary tax due date. Company assets should not have to be sold to pay taxes -- the market should determine when things are bought and sold. That is the best measurement - when a willing Buyer meets a willing Seller and they agree on a price and a time when a company should be sold.
That’s where I come from. We ought to repeal the death tax. The political reality is that there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate for that policy.
Unfortunately, while repeal is the law of the land today, in a few months, the law will take a sharp turn the other way. Under current law, in 2011, we will once again have an estate tax due and owing within nine months of death of 55% and even in some cases up to 60%. That just is not right - we have forced many unwilling sellers to have to deal with a very willing “shark” of a buyer waiting in the murky waters of tax uncertainty.
The speech gives specific examples of people who would suffer from the estate tax. It closes with Sen. Grassley calling for action by the Senate:
Resolving the estate tax nightmare with real reform is time-sensitive tax legislative business. It’s nowhere on the Senate’s radar screen. I urge my friends in the Democratic Leadership to put it on the Senate’s radar screen. I yield the floor.
You can watch Sen. Grassley's speach below: