The House today passed the Death Tax Repeal Act (HR 1105) and the State and Local Tax Deduction Fairness Act (HR 622). The two bills would repeal the estate tax and the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax (but not the gift tax) for all future transfers and make permanent the deduction for state and local sales tax.
It remains unclear whether the Senate would take up either bill any time soon. Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch has previously indicated that he would like to deal with tax extenders as part of comprehensive tax reform. The White House has issued veto threats for both measures. The Obama Administration, along with House Democrats, has repeatedly voiced opposition to making any tax break permanent without offsets. Permanent extension of the state and local sales tax deduction would cost approximately $42 billion over 10 years, and the estate tax repeal would cost $269 billion.
Votes on the two bills fell largely along party lines. The estate tax repeal passed by a vote of 240-179. The permanent state and local sales tax deduction was approved by a 272-152 vote.