Permanent estate tax relief an NPGA goal

June 12, 2012 By    

Joe Buschur, owner of McMahan’s Bottle Gas in Dayton, Ohio, doesn’t plan to leave his family business anytime soon. But if something tragic were to happen to Buschur, he worries the estate tax relief that’s set to expire in 2013 would be a major burden on his family.

Buschur, of course, isn’t the only marketer who feels this way. NPGA made estate tax relief one of four core items to address with Congress during last week’s Propane Days in Washington, D.C.

According to materials NPGA produced, the estate tax exemption was limited to $1 million per spouse prior to 2001. In 2001, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act was enacted, raising the spousal exemption to $3.5 million. The maximum tax rate was lowered to 45 percent in 2009, and it temporarily went to zero in 2010.

In late 2010, Congress extended and improved the estate tax structure, increasing the spousal exemption to $5 million and implementing a 35 percent tax rate. Unfortunately, on Jan. 1, 2013, the provisions currently in place are set to expire.

“We want to make it more affordable for families to pass their business on to the next generation,” says Mike Troop, vice president of legislative affairs at NPGA.

Propane isn’t the only industry lobbying for permanent estate tax relief – or at least another extension of the current estate tax framework. The current framework affects all small businesses, as congressional aides like Steven Gilleland reminded Buschur and his wife, Rosie, during their Propane Days appointment.

“I think you’re going to see a big tax plan between now and August,” says Gilleland, legislative director for Steve Austria, R-Ohio. “We want to stimulate the economy and get businesses growing again.

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik was a senior editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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