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MRAA supports estate tax relief

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Marine Retailers Association of America is supporting efforts in the U.S. Senate, as it moves to provide permanent relief of estate taxes in the Senate Budget Bill and in a bill introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Max Baucus (D-Montana), the association reported in a recent statement.

On March 26, S. 722, the Taxpayer Certainty and Relief Act of 2009, was introduced in the U.S. Senate to make permanent 2009 levels for taxation of family possessions and property, including farms, ranches, marinas, and small business properties. The language would also index exemption amounts for inflation, MRAA reported.

Under current law, taxes must be paid on transfers of property at death with the top tax rate of 45 percent on values over an individual exemption of $3.5 million and a couple's exemption of $7 million. In 2011, the estate tax is scheduled to revert back to pre-2001 levels with an exemption of $1 million and a 55-percent tax rate, according to MRAA.

In addition, MRAA has sent a letter to the Senate Budget committee supporting inclusion of the Baucus estate tax provisions in the Budget Resolution, which is a key bill that sets the guidelines for Congressional action on appropriations and tax code changes, the association stated.

"The goal of MRAA has long been full repeal of the estate tax. We understand the government is operating in an environment of budget concerns and full repeal may not be possible this year. We have joined with approximately 50 other small businesses, farming, and ranching organizations to support Congressional action this year before the very unpopular tax reverts back to 2001 levels," said Ed Lofgren, MRAA Chairman.

MRAA said it believes Senate action is a piece of certainty during an uncertain time for many hardworking marine retailers who want to keep a family business in the family upon a death.

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