Bill seeks to adjust death tax

Feb 11, 2021
Written by Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs

House Bill 1465, prime sponsored by Representative Tina Orwall, seeks to adjust the existing state death tax. The measure was heard earlier this week in the House Finance Committee.

If adopted this measure would impact many small retail owners. Retail business owners and other owners work for years building up their companies in hopes that someday they will be worth more than they paid or invested in them. The business is their savings account, their retirement, their legacy, their gift to their children.

It was wrong when the state adopted a death tax in the first place. There already is a federal death tax. Now when you die you pay both a state and federal tax. They say the only sure things in this world are death and taxes – so true.

The sad part is that the owner of a small business has been paying an assortment of other taxes for years. These include property tax, Business and Occupation gross receipts tax, unemployment insurance tax, workers’ compensation tax, and on and on. Additionally, these small business owners have been employing people and contributing to their community’s charities, youth sports and religious institutions.  Now when you die the state is going to take a chunk of your hard-earned sweat and equity.

Even more disappointing is that the state legislature is also considering a Capital Gains tax this year. One thing is for sure, government will tax you coming or going – even in death.