Senate estate tax proposal gains steam in the House

The plan by Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) to create a 35 percent tax on estates worth more than $5 million is gaining traction in the House. 

One advocate is Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.). 

"I support the Kyl-Lincoln legislation in the Senate," she told The Hill. 

Berkley is a member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. 

Still, paygo rules prevent the proposal from sailing through both chambers. 

Lawmakers need to offset any cost beyond 2009 estate tax law, which is a 45 percent tax on estates worth more than $3.5 million. 

Republicans and Democrats rarely agree on offsets, but both sides appear to be interested in giving taxpayers a choice when it comes to abiding by estate tax law. 

For example, if the Kyl-Lincoln proposal were enacted, taxpayers could choose to abide by it or follow current law, which is no estate tax and a very harsh basis. 

Giving taxpayers a choice could lower the cost for enacting the Kyl-Lincoln proposal since some taxpayers might choose to follow current law.