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MRAA supports effort for estate tax relief

The Marine Retailers Association of America is supporting recent efforts in the U.S. Senate to provide permanent relief of estate taxes.

The Taxpayer Certainty and Relief Act of 2009 was introduced last week by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. The bill aims to make permanent 2009 levels for taxation of family possessions and property, including farms, ranches, marinas and small business properties. The language also would index exemption amounts for inflation.

Under current law, estates are taxed at a top tax rate of 45 percent on values more than $3.5 million for individuals and $7 million for couples. In 2011, the estate tax is scheduled to revert back to pre-2001 levels with an exemption of $1 million and a 55 percent tax rate.

MRAA has sent a letter to the Senate Budget Committee supporting inclusion of the Baucus estate tax provisions in the Budget Resolution, which is a key bill that sets the guidelines for congressional action on appropriations and tax code changes.

"The goal of MRAA has long been full repeal of the estate tax," MRAA chairman Ed Lofgren said in a statement. "We understand the government is operating in an environment of budget concerns and full repeal may not be possible this year. We have joined with approximately 50 other small businesses, farming and ranching organizations to support congressional action this year before the very unpopular tax reverts back to 2001 levels."

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