Updated 03/07/2012 03:53 PM
Lawmakers consider repealing estate tax
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RALEIGH — Supporters and opponents weighed in Wednesday as lawmakers considered repealing a tax assessed on inheritance.
A legislative oversight committee is reviewing the tax because it could impact more people beginning next year. Starting on Jan. 1, 2013, the threshold for the estate tax exemption will drop from $5 million to $1 million.
Repeal supporters feel keeping the tax would hurt families of those estates for years to come.
"It starts to erode that kind of American dream that so many of us have to build something up and provide a better life for your children. This tax eats away at those assets,” said Civitas Institute Director of Policy Brian Balfour.
Opponents, like the N.C. Budget and Tax Center, believe the tax brings additional revenue into the state.
"Even if it were to increase slightly with a decline in the threshold, we think that those dollars are critical. the fact that our system is upside down," said N.C. Budget and Tax Center director Alexandra Forter Sirota.
Some lawmakers also argue that the state's wealthiest are only impacted by the tax.
"It's a terrible idea,” said Durham Democrat Rep. Paul Luebke. “Why would you want to provide relief to one-half of one percent when we have the rest of North Carolina with high levels of unemployment."
The act would repeal the estate tax for those who died on or after Jan. 1. Lawmakers are not taking action now, but plan to consider the estate tax when the General Assembly session begins in May.
State lawmakers are also looking at making changes to corporate, personal and sales taxes.