Estate tax bill clears House committee

Posted February 20, 2013

— After more than an hour of debate, the House Finance Committee voted 24-10 Wednesday to approve a bill that would eliminate the state’s estate tax.

Republicans repeatedly called the levy a “death tax,” saying it unfairly punishes farm and small-business owners who have passed down wealth generation after generation.

House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes said the tax “punishes productivity.”

“We’ve got people who have worked all their lives to build up a business or a farm,” Starnes said. “They wanted to have something to leave to their children. Why do we want to punish people who are just trying to save something?”

Democrats in opposition to House Bill 101 cited the small number of people impacted by the bill. Rep. Paul Luebke, D-Durham, said repealing the tax would help only 0.2 percent of North Carolinians who would be required to pay the tax.

State law exempts the first $5.25 million of the estate of someone who dies, just like the federal estate tax. Repealing the state's tax would cost $52 million during the next fiscal year.

House committee to consider estate tax bill House committee supports estate tax bill

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger told the North Carolina Chamber on Tuesday that his idea of fair tax reform also would include repealing the estate tax.

However, a repeal of the estate tax was not included in the tax reform outline floated in December by Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, the chamber's senior finance chairman.

Starnes, R-Caldwell, said after the meeting that the bill faced one of two possible paths forward. It could be rolled into the budget and pass as part of a larger tax and spending package, or it could come out of committee as a separate bill.

"I'm proud that we're eliminating the estate tax, and I think there are number of members who would like to have their vote recorded as eliminating the death tax," Starnes said. "The decision on which path the bill will take will be made by House Speaker Thom Tillis."


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  • mountainlover Feb 21, 2013

    Deep Thought: IF I had an estate of this size (which I don't), I would strongly consider moving to another state. Why wouldn't I? Think about it. In fact, I am a middle-class individual who was educated in NC and planned to move back there to retire--until I did a little research and found out that my retirement income was going to be taxed. There are several states that do not tax retirement income, so now I am re-thinking my retirement plans. People DO consider these things and they do not have to be rich or elite to take them into consideration.

  • Deep Thought Feb 21, 2013

    mawiggins1970 "Right now quite a few of them are leaving the state or have residents in other states that don't have estate tax." and "these rich elites stay in NC & retire"

    Please disclose where your info came from, how many, which states are they moving to? Facts please not just statements with no facts.

    And, "most of the republican legislators are middle class", they vote with the herd like sheep, if the party says jump they don't even bother to ask how high. They worship Fox News, Mitch McConnell and now McCrory. As long as they are making the wealthy happy then they are happy. Their plan is to get into the wealthy class and all these benefits will already be waiting for them.

    Please, please pay attention to what they do over the next months until we can vote them out. See how rarely if ever what they do is for anyone that isn't wealthy or can't contribute to their campaigns. NC made the national news last night because of the unemployment cut, we're being laughed at.

  • teleman60 Feb 21, 2013

    Let's just watch and see how many bills are passed protecting the wealth of the top .2%!!???

    Topless women are suddenly a political issue

    180,000 unemployed on the streets

    500,000 uninsured continue to use ER as primary care

    This is exactly how the US got so in debt - Republicans lowered taxes and just kept spending on credit and when the country was near a depression they ran away to the hills leaving the country trillions in debt!!!

    I'm gonna laugh all the way to the trials for McCrory and Tata and all the rest as they banckrupt NC!!

  • mountainlover Feb 21, 2013

    I strongly support this bill, because it eliminates double taxation. The people paid taxes on the money when they earned it. If they were wise enough to invest it well, they paid taxes on their investments. Most made a will and had the option of giving their wealth to the federal and/or state government, if they wanted do. They did not choose to do so. I always have had a problem with death being a taxable event.

  • Danny22 Feb 20, 2013

    These estate taxes are tough on farmers and business people.

  • Danny22 Feb 20, 2013

    Thank you. That is one unfair tax.

  • hb2605 Feb 20, 2013

    Everything my family has worked for was paid for with after- tax money and there aren't any liens on anything---Why do I owe the state any money if all applicable taxes were paid along the way. Single-wide, Doublewide, 10 million dollar estate- leave it be!!

  • Scubagirl Feb 20, 2013

    well said mawiggins1970, well said!

  • oldaltar Feb 20, 2013

    State law exempts the first $5.25 million of the estate of someone who dies, just like the federal estate tax. Repealing the state's tax would cost $52 million during the next fiscal year.

    It is amazing how many poor and middle class folks in NC voted against their own interests by voting for these folks. You're learn the hard way.

  • mawiggins1970 Feb 20, 2013

    No it will not because that number doesn't factor in the amount of revenue we will save if these people stay in NC & retire. Right now quite a few of them are leaving the state or have residents in other states that don't have estate tax. If they continue to live here they will pay more taxes (income, capital gains, property etc. plus some of these people are job creators who will leave their company here rather than moving to say SC. So you can and will make up the 52 million* *denotes a supposed loss but can't be accurately determined. without a tax increase. Let them retire here in NC & keep their wealth in our state not SC or eleswhere which is what's happening now.