On November 4, 2010, Kay Bell posted Will the estate tax stay dead? on Taxes Blog (a Bankrate.com blog). Bell writes that because of the mid-term election results, "it's looking like there will be a true fight to kill the tax forever":
Pre-election conventional wisdom was that Congress would keep the estate tax, but bump up the exemption amount to $3.5 million and drop the tax rate to 45 percent or lower. Now it's looking like there will be a true fight to kill the tax forever.
If the estate tax does survive in the lame-duck session, expect the repeal battle to begin in earnest when the new 112th Congress is seated in January.
But Bell is "skeptical" that the estate tax will be permanently repealed:
So will the estate tax truly die? I'm still skeptical.
As much fun as some lawmakers have chanting 'Kill the death tax,' the levy still brings in a lot of tax money. And the 112th Congress will contain a lot of folks who won their seats by promising to reduce the deficit.
If members of Congress are forced to choose between keeping tax rates low for the living and taxing the estates of the dearly departed, I'm putting my money on laws that will benefit the taxpayers who will still be around to vote again next election day.