House to vote on repeal of “death tax”

Obama has threatened to veto the measure

New York /
Apr.April 16, 2015 08:00 AM

The House of Representatives will vote Thursday on a measure to repeal the controversial estate tax, or, as it’s dubbed by opponents, the “death tax.” The tax has a big influence on how real estate assets are held by owners. 

Republicans at large, including the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, argue that the policy unfairly double-taxes wealth that was already taxed as income.

But while the bill is expected to pass in the House, it is highly unlikely to make it through the Senate, where just 54 of 60 needed Senators supported it in a nonbinding vote last month.

President Barack Obama also threatened this week to veto the measure if it is passed.

The existing law levies a 40 percent tax against the estate of a deceased person with over $5.43 million in assets, including real estate holdings.

For married couples, the threshold is $10.86 million, pursuant to the 2010 Tax Relief Act, which allows an estate of under $5.43 million to be transferred to a deceased person’s spouse without pushing them over the threshold for exemption.

High-net-worth individuals frequently use LLCs or partnerships with family members to mitigate the effect of the tax on real estate, by decreasing the value of their interest, according to Kathleen McCormack, a partner specializing in trusts and estates at law firm Cullen and Dykman.

“I think eliminating the estate tax is not going to happen… There have been so many concessions already,” McCormack said. “[The U.S. has] the highest concentration of wealth in the world, and eliminating the estate tax perpetuates that.”

In January, Obama proposed getting rid of the stepped-up tax basis, which would raise taxes on inheritances by imposing capital gains taxes on transferred assets. The proposal is opposed by most Republicans.

Rep. Brady’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Closer to home, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council have brought up the idea ofa pied-à-terre tax, or a tax on homes worth at least $5 million whose owners are not full-time residents. Real estate players are, unsurprisingly, vehemently opposed to such a plan. 


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
34-24 Hunters Point Ave
City accuses its landlord of gaming property taxes
City accuses its landlord of gaming property taxes
Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin (Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal with Getty)
Manchin-Schumer deal closes real estate tax loophole
Manchin-Schumer deal closes real estate tax loophole
L+M’s Ron Moelis and 180 Broome Street (L+M, City Realty, iStock)
L+M accused of overcharging tenants at 421a building
L+M accused of overcharging tenants at 421a building
From left: General Motors Building, One Vanderbilt, MetLife Building, and the International Building (Wikipedia, iStock)
Nation’s highest-taxed office buildings are all in one neighborhood
Nation’s highest-taxed office buildings are all in one neighborhood
Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann (Getty Images, iStock, Yard 8 Miami, Stacks on Main, Trulia, Power Design Inc., Inkwell Decatur, Wikipedia, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)
Depreciation Man: Adam Neumann’s real estate binge to ease tax bill
Depreciation Man: Adam Neumann’s real estate binge to ease tax bill
NYC hotel property taxes skyrocketed to 30% of revenue: report
NYC hotel property taxes skyrocketed to 30% of revenue: report
NYC hotel property taxes skyrocketed to 30% of revenue: report
Stephen Ross and Charles Kushner (Getty)
Stephen Ross, Charles Kushner, other titans paid no federal taxes for years
Stephen Ross, Charles Kushner, other titans paid no federal taxes for years
Attorney General Letitia James, Tax Equity Now’s Policy Director Martha Stark and Mayor-Elect Eric Adams (Getty)
Do-or-die: Group files final appeal for property tax reform
Do-or-die: Group files final appeal for property tax reform
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...