Written by Joseph Zimmerl: With the election of President Trump comes discussion of the repeal of the Federal estate tax. While this law is widely discussed and debated it only impacts .2% of estates every year whose value exceed $5.49 million for a single person and $11 million for a married couple. In the past, republican politicians have promised repealing it but none have been successful. Under President Bush the tax was, however, temporarily stayed for one year. It’s still very early to know whether Mr. Trump will be anymore successful but there are already two Congressional bills put forth by Rep. Kristi Noem [R-SD] and Rep. Mac Thornberry [R-TX] which attempt to repeal the estate tax.
However, the repeal of the federal estate tax may not have any impact on Californians if state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) has his way. Mr. Wiener announced a ballot measure on February 21 to bring back the California estate tax. California voters had previously decided to abolish the estate tax in 1982. The ballot measure is planned to mirror the existing federal estate tax. Mr. Wiener stated that he would withdraw this ballot measure if Congress decides to keep the federal estate tax.