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Chamber endorses bill to block proposed estate tax rules

Chamber endorses bill to block proposed estate tax rules
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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is endorsing legislation to prevent the Obama administration's proposed estate-tax rules from taking effect.

The Chamber "strongly supports" the bill since it would prevent a "backdoor estate tax hike," the group said Monday in letters to the bill's lead sponsors in the House and Senate, Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) and Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  Crist launches bid for Florida governor, seeking to recapture his old job MORE (R-Fla.).

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The Treasury Department in August proposed rules that would curb family businesses' ability to discount the value of minority interests for estate-tax purposes.

Davidson and Rubio's legislation would prevent federal funds from being used to finalize the proposal. 

The Obama administration has said that its proposed rules are aimed at closing a loophole used by wealthy people. Administration officials said the proposal is part of the White House's efforts to improve the fairness of the tax code.

But the Chamber said that the proposed rules would hurt families' abilities to pass businesses on to future generations.

The current valuation discounts "promote the flow of wealth to younger generations, which is good for the economy and the continuation of family businesses," the group said. R. Bruce Josten, the Chamber's executive vice president for government affairs, signed the group's letters.

Last month, the Chamber and other business groups and companies sent a letter to Treasury asking the department to withdraw the proposed rules. Comments on the proposal are due early next month.

— Updated 11:37 a.m.