GOP estate tax repeal would add $269B to deficits, CBO says

Republican legislation in the House to repeal the federal estate tax would add nearly $270 billion to federal deficits, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The office projects the legislation offered by Rep. Kevin BradyKevin BradyWhite House, GOP close to releasing joint tax-reform principles Mnuchin meets with agriculture groups on tax reform GOP-controlled Congress nears legislative triumph — on Russia MORE (R-Texas) would result in revenue losses starting in 2016. The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation produced the score.

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The House Ways and Means Committee advanced the bill in late March, which would amend the tax code to repeal the tax that applies to estates of the deceased. It would also repeal a generation-skipping transfer tax and lower the top marginal gift tax rate from 40 percent to 35 percent.

Under the estate tax, which has a top rate of 40 percent, individuals are exempt if their assets total less than $5.43 million. For married couples, the threshold for avoiding the tax is $10.86 million.

Republicans have been rallying for a repeal of the estate tax, dubbing it the “death tax.”

Sen. John ThuneJohn ThuneSenate rejects repeal-only ObamaCare plan Senate delays vote on healthcare repeal Senate might not act on must-pass aviation bill until September MORE (R-S.D.) has offered a bill that would repeal the estate tax. More than two-dozen Senate Republicans have already endorsed it, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellBare bones repeal plan gains steam in Senate Poll: Dems have the edge in healthcare debate Senate rejects repeal-only ObamaCare plan MORE (R-Ky.).

"It is the federal government’s final insult to tax your family when you have already paid taxes on your property throughout your life," McConnell said. "The thought of having to visit the IRS and the undertaker on the same day is an absolute outrage."

Before Congress left for its two-week recess last month, most Senate Republicans voted to wrap an amendment from Thune into their budget that would repeal the tax.

The budget is just a policy blueprint, however, and is non-binding.