Stop cutting taxes for dead millionaires!
According to the WV Center for Budget and Policy, WV could generate $21 million per year if WV restored our estate tax to 2001 levels. (PDF)
In 2001, West Virginia estates over $675,000 ( after deductions for funeral expenses and charitable donations) were subject to the Estate Tax, but that tax is being phased out and in 2010 will be eliminated completely.
According to the phase-out, in 2009 only those estates worth more than $3.5 million are subject to the estate tax.
(Don't worry millionaires, if you can hold on for just a few more months until 2010, then your children's inheritance will escape the tax completely. Whew!)
In the meantime, rather than having $21 million per year for things like early childhood programs, schools, health care, infrastructure, law enforcement, fire fighter pensions, etc., WV will have a whopping $0 in state revenue from the estate tax. (Seriously... $0. None. Nada. Zilch.)
At a time when our state is struggling to pay its bills and can't afford to invest in programs that will improve our state's future, I don't think it's wise to cut taxes for dead millionaires.
Let's do the right thing! Restore the Estate Tax to a reasonable level and use the revenue to support efforts that help ensure all WV children have the opportunity to be prosperous as adults - not just those fortunate enough to have wealthy parents.
Cross posted at WVaBlue.com.