Thursday, March 23, 2006

Wealthy New Yorkers WANT an estate tax?

This week's edition of The Legislative Gazette carries an "open letter" to the members of the State Legislature from forty-six wealthy New Yorkers calling for New York State to keep its estate tax. In their advertisement, the millionaires said that keeping the estate tax is essential to New York having a fair tax system.
Governor Pataki has proposed eliminating New York's estate tax. Eliminating this tax, which only applies to estates worth more than one million dollars, and affects less than 3% of all estates, would cost New York $2.8 billion over the next five years (2007-08 through 2011-12), and more than $1 billion per year thereafter. The open letter was published as the Legislature is deciding whether to accept the Governor's proposal. The State Senate's budget proposal does away with the estate tax, but the State Assembly's budget plan keeps the estate tax.
. . .
According to letter signer Alan Grad, "Many owners of successful closely held businesses feel that their financial good fortune is due to the timeless strength of the US economy, the political freedom inherent in our form of government, and the quality of the American employee. Giving back to the government and charities upon death is not a burden that can't be planned for, but a fair tax, on having played the game well, and won."

You can read the entire ad here.