On April 13, 2005, the House of Representatives passed a bill to permanently repeal the estate tax. the House rejected the alternative offered by Rep. Earl Pomerory (D-ND) to immediately increase the estate tax exemption level to $3 million and to raise the exemption level to $3.5 million after 2009. Whether the permanent repeal will pass the Sentate is uncertain. Read more in the Washington Post article (April 14, 2005) here.
The Independent Sector is opposed to a permanent repeal of the estate tax because of the likely effect it will have on charitable giving. A July 2004 report of the Congressional Budget Office ("Charitable Bequests and the Repeal of the Estate Tax") concludes that eliminating the estate tax would result in an estimated 22 percent decline in charitable bequests. A follow up report ("The Estate Tax and Charitable Giving") concludes that a full repeal would reduce total giving to charities by 6 to 12 percent. Read more about the Independent Sector’s position here.