House to Vote on Estate Tax Today

President Bush's proposal to end the estate tax is scheduled to be discussed and voted on in the House of Representatives today. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-TX, predicts that approximately 60 Democrats will cross party lines to join Republicans in the vote to repeal the tax.

The proposed bill to end the estate tax will begin with top estate tax rates being cut in 2002. The entire repeal of the estate tax will be phased in over ten years.

The estate tax currently affects roughly 2 percent of the people who die each year. Most estates are not affected by the tax due to an exemption on the first $675,000 of an estate's value. Advocates of the repeal are most concerned about family business owners whose heirs are often faced with selling the family business in order to pay the estate taxes.

If passed, the bill will move to the Senate for further consideration.

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